Another Billy Graham Crusade … so professional … so polished … so much like Madison Avenue.… At least that’s the way it should look to the 200,000 persons expected to attend his current crusade in New York’s Madison Square Garden, June 13–22.
Beneath the surface and behind the Garden’s show window, however, Graham team workers have spent twenty months scurrying about, raising money, soliciting personnel, driving business bargains, writing news releases, organizing prayer groups, and training counselors—in a frenzy that bespeaks continual inventory time.
Witness, for example, crusade director Bill Brown’s New York offices two weeks before opening night: A half-empty cup of cold coffee on a sloppy desk. Overflowing wire baskets. Empty boxes in one corner. Filled boxes in another. A worn map of the city on one wall. A score of letters, awaiting signatures, in disarray on a folding chair. A dirty, threadbare couch where visitors wait for interviews. And witness the sidewalks at rush hour, twenty-seven stories below. All this points up the spirit of hurry, confusion, yet definite destination, that has caught up the Graham team this spring.
Why all the commotion? For a partial answer, look at the more typical facets of crusade preparation: Organizing prayer groups, training counselors, raising money …
The money matter, supervised by a local committee that invited Graham to New York four years ago, called for meeting most of the $825,000 budget by June 13—a goal that by late May local crusade chairman Elmer Engstrom felt fairly confident about reaching.
The prayer backing was handled by organization of more than 40,000 area churchmen into some 5,000 prayer groups; each began weekly meetings early in May.
Preparation of counselors has ...1
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