Continuing a sweep through Pennsylvania and Ohio, Billy Graham staged his third Pittsburgh crusade last month. The effort was marked by an ecumenical cooperation that saw 1,050 churches and 65 denominations come together.
“I know that the gospel of Christ can transform individuals and bring a new spirit in a community,” Graham said. In spite of cold, rainy weather during its first four days, 171,500 persons attended the June 2–6 crusade at Three Rivers Stadium, 12,515 of them making commitments to Christ. Although the crusade had a rocky financial beginning, large gifts from wealthy contributors in the last two months brought the crusade in at $180,000 above its $1.45 million budget. Chaired by Fred Fetterolf, retired Alcoa chairman and an Episcopalian, the crusade in largely Roman Catholic Pittsburgh had six Catholics on the executive committee. Earlier crusades did not include invitations to Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese officials. This time, Graham met with eight bishops and executives from Catholic and Protestant groups.
Graham’s previous Pittsburgh crusades were in 1952 and 1968. The 1993 crusade came from invitations by 250 religious leaders following Graham’s visit to the neighboring city of Greensburg after 13 of its residents died during an Iraqi Scud missile attack in the Persian Gulf war. In a two-year sweep through the region, Graham will appear twice in Pennsylvania and twice in Ohio. The regional thrust began with last year’s Philadelphia crusade and will end with crusades this fall in Columbus and next spring in Cleveland.
At a press conference, Graham spoke about President Bill Clinton and suggested that Americans “have a little patience” with the President and pray for him. Graham said he is a friend of the Clintons, ...1
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