Willis Graham Haymaker (1895-1980) was first crusade director of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and as such he helped set up the basic guideliens by which the BGEA staff considered and accepted inivtations from communities to hold crusades, organized local committees to supervise the work, arranged for publicity, training, follow-up and all all the other thousand and one details involed in oranzing an evangelistic campaign. Haymaker brought considerable expertise to this tak, since he had been organziing campaigns for evangelists like Bob Jones Senior, Jimmy Johnson and Gypsy Smith since 1918.
Very early, Haymaker produced the following Suggested Plan of Organization... to give to community leaders who desired to hold a Billy Graham Crusade. The pamplet, which was probably produced in the early 1950s, represents almost the earliest stage in BGEA crusade development. Many changes from the way crusades are currently run are obvious. The policy of the local committee paying for the BGEA staff's salary and expenses, for example, was discontinued and the BGEA paid all those costs directly. The names and structures of the different committee altered over time. Other programs were added over the years, such as one to provide workshops for local pastors and interested laypeople in ways of presenting the Gospel (Schools of Evangelism). And of course the televsing of all of Billy Graham's crusades also affected organization methods.Still, many of the basic elements of crusade organization orignally laid out Haymaker in this plan are still followed by BGEA staff and the local committees.
The printed brochure was very widely distributed to interested parties throughout the 1950s. It
consists of four panels , printed on both sides, for a total of eight pages. The copy used here is from
BGC Archives' Collection 1, the papers of Willis Graham Haymaker, box 6 folder 15. Any one interested in seeing an
example of how this plan was applied can look at the records of the 1952 Greater Albuquerque Evangelistic Crusade.
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The most impressive way to extend an official invitation to Dr. Billy Graham for a united evangelistic
crusade is to make it as all-inclusive as possible. In addition to the Ministerial Association, other
Protestant religious and denominational bodies should be asked to join in the invitation. Many cities
ask the Governor of the State; the U. S. Senators and Representatives; University and College
Presidents; the Mayor; the newspaper, radio and television executives; leaders of industry and civic
organizations to also join in the invitation. Such an invitation gives religious and civic leaders an
opportunity to be vitally concerned and become a part of the crusade right from the start. Also, the
wide impact of such an invitation is quite evident.
II. THE MAIN COMMITTEES
Once the invitation has been extended and accepted and the date and place of meeting have been
agreed on, the next step is to set up the four main committees needed to get the organization
The members of this committee are selected by the chairman who is a member of the Executive
Committee, and should be composed of an outstanding pastor from the various Protestant
denominations. This committee will serve as a liaison group between the Executive Committee and
the participating pastors. It will be the duty of this committee to sponsor ministers meetings, such
as breakfasts or luncheons, to provide various pastors to take part in the services during the crusade,
and to generally be in charge of any phase of the crusade operation that directly affects the
4. The Crusade Committee
This committee is usually composed of 100 representative Protestant church and civic leaders whose names lend confidence to the united crusade and show the wide community backing the crusade will have. This is not a working committee and may meet only once or twice during the crusade.
As soon as the Executive Committee has been officially formed, the crusade should be legally incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation and chartered under the laws of the state where it will be operating. In order to do this, four things are necessary:
Once the crusade is incorporated, it functions as such from then on so that all contracts and agreements are made in the name of the corporation.
Following the incorporation, a well known and respected firm of Certified Public Accountants should be chosen by the Executive Committee to set up the crusade account records and to make the final audit of all receipts and disbursements at the conclusion of the crusade.
In addition to the four main committees outlined above there are 10 other working committees as
1. A Prayer Committee.
a. Women's Division-Cottage Prayer Meetings.
b. Men's Division-Industrial Prayer Meetings.
c. Young People's Division-Prayer Meetings in Schools, Colleges, and Universities.
2. A Counseling Committee.
a. Counselor Training.
b. Pre-Crusade Visitation.
c. "Operation Andrew" Program.
d. Post-Crusade Visitation.
e. Follow Up.
3. A Finance Committee.
4. A Music Committee.
5. An Ushers Committee.
6. A Coliseum or Stadium Arrangements Committee.
7. A Publicity Committee.
8. A Delegations Committee
9. A Youth Activities Committee
10. A Transportation Committee.
a. Team Transportation.
b. Local or Area Transportation.
c. Inter-City Transportation.
The chairman of each of the above-named committees is selected by the Executive Committee.
The personnel of the following committees will be supplied by each of the participating pastors:
1. Prayer Committee
(a) Women's Division
(b) Men's Division
(c) Young People's Division
2. Counseling Committee
(a) Follow-Up Committee
(b) Visitation Committee
3. Music Committee
4. Ushers Committee
5. Youth Activities Committee
The personnel of all other crusade working committees will be selected in each case by the chairman
of that particular committee.
The chairmen of all the 10 working committees become ex-officio members of the Executive Committee and can be called in at any time for progress reports.
V. TRAINING AND INSTRUCTING OF THE CRUSADE COMMITTEES
The instructing and training of the various working committees will be tinder the direction of various
members of the Billy Graham Team, working in cooperation with the Executive Committee.
VI. CRUSADE HEADQUARTERS
A centrally located crusade office should be secured and put in operation from six months to a year
prior to the start of the crusade so that the vast amount of work ill preparation for the crusade can
be effectively consummated and ready when the crusade begins. The office will need to be maintained
during and following the crusade until every phase of the work has been completed in a satisfactory
VI. CRUSADE FINANCIAL POLICY
The financial policy of all Billy Graham Crusades is set forth in detail as follows:
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was organized in the fall of 1950 and is the sponsoring organization for the various Christian activities of Billy Graham and the Team. The Association was incorporated as a nonprofit organization under the laws of the State of Minnesota. (Offices are maintained in the City of Minneapolis.)
The affairs of the Association are administered by a Board of Directors; the finances are audited
regularly by a national firm of Certified Public Accountants, and the books are available for
examination at any time. Gifts to the Association are deductible for income tax purposes.
The Association serves as the organization to which all funds are directed for the support of the "Hour of Decision" on radio and television, and serves as the organization for paying all of the bills thus incurred.
At the present time, the actual cost of operating the office in Minneapolis, with the staff and
clerical workers, etc., amounts to approximately 10 per cent . . . leaving 90 per cent of the gifts
received as going for the direct purpose of broadcast time on radio and television.
Four points have formed the basis upon which the financial operation of the various city-wide
evangelistic crusades are built:
1. The expense budget is set by the local Executive Committee in cooperation with the Crusade Director. All funds received in connection with the local crusade budget are counted, deposited and disbursed by the local Committee.
2. The raising of the crusade budget of expense is under the direction of the local Finance Committee:
(a) PRIOR TO THE CRUSADE the Finance Committee raises from one-third to one-half of the estimated budget by soliciting larger gifts from individuals, business groups and other organizations. NOTE: Churches will be given an opportunity to share in the pre-crusade financing. Such voluntary contributions from any church will be welcomed by the Crusade Finance Committee. These contributions can be made in the form of special Crusade Envelope Offerings or from the Church treasury.
(b)DURING THE CRUSADE the balance of the crusade budget of expense is raised through contributions and by taking public offerings at the place of meeting.
3. When the expense budget has been raised and sufficient funds are in hand to meet any unforeseen contingencies, offerings may be discontinued, or additional offerings may be taken for various missionary enterprises and evangelistic programs as agreed upon jointly by the Executive Committee and Dr. Graham.
4. When the crusade is ended and the records are complete, an audit is made by a Certified Public Accountant. This audit becomes a part of the permanent record of the Crusade and is available for public examination at any time.
The following items of Financial Policy have also been insisted upon by the Billy Graham Team in
every city-wide crusade:
The salaries of the various team members, based on the length of time and the services they devote to any given crusade, are included in the expense budget and are paid by the local committee.
Dr. Graham, himself, does not receive any honorarium for his services from the local committee during a crusade. Nor is there any so-called "love-offering" taken for him. He is on a regular salary basis, paid by the Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis.
However, Dr. Graham's actual expenses incurred in connection with the crusade are included in the expense budget and paid by the local committee. These expenses include travel to and from the city, hotel, meals, and other incidental items that of necessity must be incurred by him.
All other members of the Billy Graham Team receive a daily expense allowance to cover food, hotel accommodations, and the other incidental expenses incurred by them for their work in connection with the crusade. The amount of this allowance is set by the local committee in connection with the Crusade Director.
Travel expenses of the team members from their homes to and from the crusade city are also paid
by the local committee, this amount being included in the crusade expense budget.
The broadcast of the "Hour of Decision" costs more than $30,000.00 per week. These programs, heard by millions around the world, are not underwritten or guaranteed. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is entirely dependent upon the gifts of God's people to keep these programs on the air. To augment the gifts received by mail (which are not sufficient to carry on programs), the Association asks that each committee consider the practice of giving a Sunday afternoon offerings each week to the support of the "Hour of Decision" which will originate from the crusade city each Sunday afternoon while Dr. Graham is in the city and 11 be heard by millions across the Nation and in many foreign lands.