Evangelist Billy Graham, who has been an honorary Indian chief for twenty-three years, won new recognition from the original Americans last month as thousands of them turned out for his eight-day crusade in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Graham preached to delegations from a wide assortment of Indian tribes who came from a four-state area. He also spoke to a historic conference of Indian evangelicals and to a private meeting of Indian chiefs from throughout the United States.
“It seems to me,” Graham told the Indian evangelicals, “it is time once again to emphasize evangelism among all ethnic groups in America, and especially do we have a debt to the American Indian.”
Indians and others filled the 15,300-seat indoor University of New Mexico Arena for each crusade service. The meetings, held during the week in which spring arrived on the calendar, reflected an evangelistic enthusiasm among Christians in Albuquerque that promised a season of spiritual growth. Graham team members said the percentage of inquirers was unusually high for an indoor meeting.
Crusade Chairman David Cauwels, a local developer who is a Houghton College graduate, said he believes that a great wave of intercession (more than 4,000 homes opened for prayer) was answered in a miraculous way.
“The desert is blossoming,” said Cauwels. “God has wrought a mighty work across denominational lines like we have never seen.” Roman Catholics numerically dominate the Albuquerque population of 335,000 and their response to the crusade was particularly heartwarming to sponsors. Cauwels, who says he carries as much a burden for follow-up as for the crusade itself, reported that seventy “nurture” groups are meeting for Roman Catholics alone.
During the week, an Albuquerque newspaper ...1
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