Billy Graham Center
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The 1959 South Cross Crusades

Billy Graham and his associate evangelists Leighton Ford, Grady Wilson, and Joseph Blinco held crusades in New Zealand and Australia during the first half of 1959. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) meetings had great impact both on general population of the countries (it is estimated that half of Australia's population saw Graham in person or television broadcasts and land lines ). Below are some statistics and documents from the meetings. To see which collections in the BGC Archives have information on particular meetings of the Southern Cross Crusade, click here.

Event Place Dates Attendance Inquirers
Southern Cross Crusade Australia and New Zealand Feb. 15-May 31 3,362,240 146,734
During a refueling stop, Graham speakers to church leaders at Nadi Airport Fiji Feb. 11 -- --
Melbourne Crusade Melbourne, Australia Feb. 15-Mar 15 719,000 26,440
Evangelistic rally Hobart, Australia March 16 25,000 1,000
Evangelistic rally Launceston, Australia March 17 12,000 --
Auckland Crusade (Grady Wilson was evangelist, Billy Graham spoke at end of crusade) Auckland, New Zealand March 29- Apr 4 163,000 6,890
Wellington Crusade (Leighton Ford was evangelist, Billy Graham spoke at end of crusade) Wellington, New Zealand March 30 - Apr 5 59,000 4,740
Christchurch Crusade (Joseph Blinco was evangelist, Billy Graham spoke at end of crusade) Christchurch, New Zealand April 1 - April 8 133,00 4352
Sydney Crusade Sydney, Australia April 12-May 10 980,000 56,780
Evangelistic rally Canberra, Australia April 28 25,000 1100
Adelaide Crusade (Joseph Blinco was evangelist, Billy Graham spoke at the three final meetings) Adelaide, Australia May 13-26 253,000 11,992
Perth Crusade (Grady Wilson was evangelist, Billy Graham spoke at the two final meetings.) Perth, Australia May 15-22 106,800 5,396
Brisbane Crusade (Leighton Ford was evangelist, Billy Graham spoke at the three final final meetings) Brisbane, Australia May 17-31 246,000 10,661
Graham leaves Australia on flight to Europe -- May 31 -- --

 

Late 1958

"I Object to Billy Graham!"
(From Collection 19, Box 5, Folder 47)

   
Feb. 15
Audio of the very first service of the Australian meetings, held in Melbourne
(From Collection 26, tapes T577-T579)
   
Feb. 16 Text of the BGEA press release about the first service of the Melbourne crusade.
(From Collection 16, Melbourne Procedure Book)
   
March 14 A Kiwi newsletter about the preparations for the meetings in New Zealand (including a report on Graham's stop over at Fiji) (From Collection 360, Clipping File, March 1959)
   
March 15 Photos of the final meeting of the Melbourne crusade
(From Collection 245, Melbourne 1959 photo file)
   
April 9 Text of the final press release about the meetings in New Zealand
(From Collection 16, Sydney Procedure Book)
   
May 10
Photos from the final meeting of the Sydney Crusade
(From Collection 245, Sydney 1959 photo file)
   
May 12 Text of the BGEA press release about the last meeting in the Sydney crusade
(From Collection 16, Sydney Procedure Book)

 


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Last Revised: 9/25/09
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2009