The man and the message were proven and familiar, but when Billy Graham preached the gospel during Mission 89 in London, his campaign methods showed a decidedly contemporary and high-tech flair. “Teaser” posters and live satellite linkups to sites throughout Great Britain and in Africa helped bolster stadium crowds and made Mission 89 the biggest single outreach of the evangelist’s 40-year ministry.

Weeks before Graham hit town, Londoners were confronted by a puzzling series of ads. “E.ILF—Can anyone make sense of it?” billboards asked, until the solution to the puzzle was revealed: “LIFE. Come and hear one man who can make sense of it. Billy Graham.”

“The style is different from anything we’ve done in the past,” said team representative Bill Jefferson. “I think it’s more in line with the way you do things in Britain—soft selling.”

Near-capacity crowds filled London’s largest venues for 12 meetings during the June 14-July 1 crusade. Attendance at West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Earls Court totaled more than 306,000. The response prompted Graham to add an additional meeting at Wembley Stadium, canceling an appearance at the opening session of the Lausanne II Congress on World Evangelization in Manilla (see “Global Camp Meeting,” p. 39). In spite of torrential rain, more than 73,000 packed Britain’s largest stadium for the added event.

Satellite technology expanded Graham’s preaching presence to 240 Livelink locations. Each received live broadcasts of Graham’s Earls Court meetings. Each Livelink site was organized as an individual crusade, complete with sponsoring committee, counselors, and follow-up teams. Crowds at the sites boosted total attendance in Great Britain more than 1.2 million. According to crusade organizers, more ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.