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  MEMORIES 12
Interview with Benjamin Weiss by Dr. Lois Ferm on July 14, 1971. From Collection 141, audio tape T3; transcript in box 5, folder 43. Duration: 28:12 minutes.
Image from Photo File: Weiss, Benjamin.

LOIS FERM: Now, Mr. Weiss, tell us a little about what you were doing and how you became involved in the 1949 Crusade, just sort of lead into the...we were talking about earlier the fact that you were the principal of a high school nearby and so forth.

BEN WEISS: I was involved somewhat with the Christian fundamental movement in Los Angeles, putting on campaigns through Christ for Greater Los Angeles. And my involvement came through them and through other Christian movements, assisting in campaigns and counseling, and so forth. At this time, I had had quite a serious experience in my life. My wife passed away rather suddenly during July and that involved me in a lot of things and getting readjusted.

FERM: Was that the same year?

WEISS: The same year, yes.

FERM: Oh, I didn’t know that.

WEISS: Yes, and through that, I was rather reluctant to get too much involved, but I promised I would come and help several evenings a week. One of my great interests in life is counseling and soul winning, so I did in two or three nights a week, but this was only for the first week. The second week, I was already coming every night and really to tell the truth about it exactly I missed just one night in eight weeks and I had a speaking engagement out of town.

FERM: It sort of gained on you, didn’t it?

WEISS: It surely did. It picked up. Not only did those all-night prayer meetings and many other things connected with it, Executive Committee meetings and so forth and so on, to really keep the thing in movement. And my work started as counseling; and also some work with the Executive Committee, that always had to be carried out from time to time regarding finances, and organization and oh, many things involved in a meeting like that, the connections between churches and denominations and so forth. The meeting went along as a typical good tent meeting for three weeks and that’s about the most you can say, for there was a sort of increasing momentum .There is one thing that isn’t mentioned very often or commonly known in connection with this, but this can be edited out if necessary. One of the great things that helped the meeting was a great newspaper chain gave it the signal to give it first page.

FERM: Mr. Young has just mentioned this.

WEISS: Oh he has, yes.

FERM: He feels that in history this is going to be a factor.

WEISS: I even got clippings...reprints that they sent me from China from an English language newspaper where they made reprints of some of the things that happened. And this, these papers, of course, made a great contribution because there were headlines every day after the third week.

FERM: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

WEISS: And as the meeting went along, the number of decisions--the people coming to the decision room increased. Now, along with that were other things, there were all night prayer meetings, there were pre-prayer meetings every evening in the tent. Cliff Smith and I had charge of the prayer meetings. And they got so large the people could not kneel down and (the tent held 600) it got so large they couldn’t kneel down anymore they had to stand up to pray and people came in with prayer requests. I remember especially....

FERM: This was before the crusade started each evening?

WEISS: Each evening, yes. I remember especially one evening, a little girl came in and handed me a note. And she... and I read the note and it said, “Pray for my father and mother,” just a little girl, she probably was eight years old and little things like that happened all along, until we could just say we had our hands full of notes that people handed us to pray for, we just handed them out. We knew people who were real prayer warriors and we would say, “Now you pray for this request of course silently until we get all the other requests and then you come and pray for this person too.” It had to be organized that way to get even any order out of the prayer situation you know and some prayer during the brief times we had. There had been some good training in by Mr. [I. A.] Moon for the counselors, some very good training especially in the use of Scriptures and so forth. But the method of counseling was something that was new. Counseling people in a public meeting was a new thing. We had done some of it, but it hadn’t gone too well in other campaigns.

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: There hadn’t been the groups and it had been sort of perfunctory prayer and relationship between the counselor and the counselee. We’d give them help with their problems and some help from the scriptures and so forth, but this became during this campaign, as I have thought of it, it became a real method of counseling and it improved as we went along.

FERM: Did you have any printed materials to hand out to them, the inquirers?

WEISS: Yes, we had some things, not very much.

FERM: You don’t have copies of these anymore do you?

WEISS: I thought this morning... I thought I had a copy of maybe one or two things. Yes I remember what one of them was...

FERM: If you have one, will you send me a copy?

WEISS: Yes, I remember especially the one we used. The name doesn’t come to me now, but it was commonly used, but not so much anymore and this was commonly used. I’ll be glad to get several of those for you.

FERM: That would be very good if you could.

WEISS: Then let me just add another thing about the meetings. There was a method of trying to match up counselor and counselee.

FERM: Counselee.

WEISS: Counselee, yes. And you did it as they came in the tent. That was one of the big things we did. The matter of there being an advisorship and talking to these people came a little bit later. That’s a thing we developed during the thing; we felt we needed to find out that these people really had come to a sense of assurance. And we used that word a great deal, ”a sense of assurance of salvation.”If you remember, ask me the story about Toronto, Canada and about that very thing.

FERM: Now where did you find your counselors?

WEISS: From different churches and different groups.

FERM: You were assured that they were born-again people before you even started?

WEISS: We were very sure of that. Navigators would provide a lot of them. They were very active in this thing. I think the very backbone of counseling was Navigators at the beginning, but we... they came in from everywhere. We always were short on counselors.

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: And people had to wait some time. Let me give you just one little incident. I was helping one night and they brought a boy to me at almost closing time they brought a boy to me. Because there was nobody else there available so I had to stop my other work and asked somebody else to take care of the converts as they went out, and I took care of this boy. So I talked to him and while I was talking to him another boy came and as I was preparing him to accept Christ, another boy was standing there. And I said, “How about you? Are you saved?” And he said, “No.” Well, he says no. And I said, “Would you like to take Jesus into your life?” And he said, “Yes.” And I said okay and he sat down. By that time another boy was there and he came up and I said, “Who is this boy?” He said, “He’s my other brother. We are all brothers.” He said he wasn’t saved either, none of them were saved and so he accepted Christ too as his Savior, but just about the time we got through and got all finished a man came up for them and he was their father. So I said to the father, “Are these your boys?” He said, “Yes, they are my boys.” And I said, “Well, that’s wonderful, they’ve all just accepted Christ. How about you? Would you like to accept Christ too?” I just took the bit in my mouth, you know. And he said, “Well, I think maybe I ought to.” So I sat down and I took the Scriptures and explained it to him. And in a few moments he accepted Christ. And the whole family went away rejoicing. Things like that happened over and over again. It is one of the thrilling things that never get in print you know. They were the important things that happened behind the scenes.

FERM: These are what we’re doing.... that is why we must do this.

WEISS: Oh yes, I could tell you a dozen stories like that.

FERM: Yes, I’m sure you could.

WEISS: This is when the thing really happened.

FERM: What you are really saying is it was real...it was a real spiritual awakening, revival. It wasn’t synthetic or superimposed....

WEISS: Oh, no, no, no. That’s just the thing it wasn’t. It was a thing that bubbled up everywhere, on the streets.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: There was a little old lady that came, there were no prayer warriors there in Los Angeles. And she said (this has a touch to this thing you wouldn’t get anywhere) she said “I walk the streets all night praying for this city’s lost and here’s a chance to get this city back to God, so I just walk all night on this city’s streets and nobody bothers me. I just walk around praying for this place and that place as people come up.”

FERM: Fantastic.

WEISS: On the last Sunday afternoon, the... the prostitutes and the... and the outcasts; the bums came from Skid Row, and asked if they couldn’t have somebody pray with them. That’s how this volume of the... power kept above the city.

FERM: That’s marvelous, marvelous.

WEISS: Because they just came in. You... they didn’t have to tell you who they were, you could tell who they were.

FERM: You could look at them and see, yes.

WEISS: And then they’d say “Well just a moment” right in the service, they wouldn’t even go to the meeting. And I would say, “I’ll go get a counselor for you, they’ll go talk with you out here and pray with you.” People like that came and it was amazing.

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: It was a thing that just touched you as you felt the power of God, Who was there.

FERM: That’s wonderful.

WEISS: The people in the prayer tent often prayed for lost people. Let me tell you just one instance which will throw a whole new light on this: A lady came in one night and she said, a young woman she said, “You know I got saved last night, and I am trying to get my husband to come, but he won’t come. I would like to have you folks pray for him that he will come to the meeting.” So we prayed for him. We said, “We will keep on praying for your husband to come.” And about three or four nights later...no, I recall it was the next Sunday, I recall, they passed me by and I recognized her. Her husband was with her and they were going into the prayer tent for prayer.

FERM: Oh, that’s wonderful. WEISS: And the next Sunday I saw them again. They were quite a distance from us then. I remember they lived way down the coast, it was such a thing that it made an impression on me that I remembered. He came with her and a Bible under his arm. That the kind of things that happened

FERM: Those are exciting stories.

WEISS: Now that’s the thing that’s how things happened. There were a hundred stories like that.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: Let me tell you another one just how these things happened. A woman came one night to me and I used to be the back of the platform where I would be available for different things that would happen, another man and I would usually be around there and so she said to me, “I’m trying to get my husband to come and he won’t come. He’s down in a bar. Won’t somebody come with me and get him?” I said, “I can’t leave because I am in charge of the counseling room, but I will get someone.” I got Billy Schofield. And I want Billy Schofield’s name to be in this thing.

FERM: Isn’t he the man we talked about taking care of everything, the chairs and the tent?

WEISS: Yes.

FERM: I think he was on the other tape.

WEISS: Yes. This was Billy Schofield that I said, “I can get a man to go with you.” And so Billy Schofield I got him out of the tent and I saw where he was and motioned him to come out and he came out. He was always available. And so he went with this lady, and they went from bar to bar. I think it was in the fourth bar that they found him and brought him along, he came along. And there was only one seat left in the whole tent, in the front row. And I said... and so this was behind Billy [Graham] where he was preaching you see, that’s where I was sitting. So we took him and we put him in the front row and when the invitations came, he was the first one out.

FERM: Praise the Lord!

WEISS: You see, that’s how things happened.

FERM: Yeah.

WEISS: And you know from the neighborhood, people from the neighborhoods and places like that to bring them in like that and then bring them along. And by the way that’s how...oh, you know the man whose in New York now having his work with boys....

FERM: Oh, you mean Jim Vaus.

WEISS: Jim Vaus! That’s how Jim Vaus was saved.

FERM: Yes, I know. And this is an important point that we’re trying to stress in Crusades now,

WEISS: Yes.

FERM: ...the Operation Andrew...

WEISS: Yes.

FERM: ....that people should bring people.

WEISS: Yes.

FERM: This is the way they come.

WEISS: Yes, I know. It has happened in so many places, just like this. This is the thing that’s the core. I want to think about follow-up, the great weakness is still in follow-up.

FERM: Well, first, let’s finish up about your counseling, because you were so very vital in this. You were very... you were the chief person involved in this. Tell us about your... you... you told us about how you...you...you got your counselors. Now tell us about how you worked with the people in the inquirer’s tent.

WEISS: Well, the one thing we told them was not to preach, but to ask questions and then listen.

FERM Uh-huh.

WEISS: The counselor said, now I don’t just go preach to them; use your Bible. Daddy Moon, said to me one time (just to give you a little picture of who Daddy Moon was) he said to me one time, “Ben, how much do you use your Bible when you come” “Well,” I said, “I use it.” And he said, “Don’t just use it, use only the Bible.”

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: And it just changed my whole attitude.

FERM: Who was this Daddy Moon?

WEISS: While his father is Irvin Moon, the head [?] of the... you know this....

FERM: Oh, the science. [Moody Science Films]

WEISS: The science. Yes, that’s his father that we’re talking about.

FERM: Oh, I see. And was he a native Los Angeles man?

WEISS: Yes, oh yes.

FERM: And was he a minister?

WEISS: No, he was a worker though with the Church of the Open Door.

FERM: I see.

WEISS: And at some other churches. He wasn’t at the Church of the Open Door that time. I remember he still often.... I remember, I still think about him when I pass a little church off of the Pasadena freeway.

FERM: Oh I see, he was a...he was a laymen, but very interested in God’s work

WEISS: Yes.

FERM: ...and very active.

WEISS: Oh, wonderful Bible teacher too.

FERM: Wonderful Bible teacher.

WEISS: And he had many, many.... He was a great help with Youth for Christ in training their counselors in the very early...in the beginning days.

FERM: I see.

WEISS: And when we trained the counselors we asked of them many things. We asked them to be thorough, whenever they go into these places don’t settle for anything less than assurance. Don’t settle for anything less than that. Assurance is the thing we’re after.

FERM: That’s right.

WEISS: And a penitence prayer. I remember writing the first penitence prayer I heard of and I wrote it myself. And so you’d know it, a penitence prayer, from beginning to end and then you’d say, “Would you pray this with me?” And in New York I did this thing with a man over the telephone and you know who it was, when they got all through? He told me who he was and he said, “You know I’ve been thinking for some time that there’s something I’m missing in life that’s important and I don’t know what it is,” and let’s see... I don’t remember... Do you remember this woman from Tulsa, Oklahoma that gave that testimony that night?

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: Tremendous, and it was that night and I... we had asked her about those things and I.... he said to me, he said,“You know it’s something I’m missing and I’m just wondering if this might be it.” And I said, “Well, have you got a Bible?” And he got his Bible and I asked him questions about it and so forth and we went over this thing very quickly on the telephone. It was a long distance call) and “Fine,” I said, “Pray. Well, don’t you want to pray,” and he said, “No, I can’t pray,”and I said “Will you pray with me?” and he said yes, and I said, “Let me pray for you first,” so first I prayed for him and then we prayed together and when we got through, you know what he said? He said, “This is it.”

FERM: Oh, that’s marvelous.

WEISS: You know who it was?

FERM: No.

WEISS: He was a pilot in the Royal Dutch Airlines had flown in that night and had gotten in late and just turned on the television and saw this thing and I still have the page of his name, address and story.

FERM: Oh, that’s thrilling

WEISS: I kept a copy.

FERM: That’s very thrilling.

WEISS: Yes, it’s one of the thrilling things in my life, you know.

FERM: Yes,

WEISS: Pilot, the Royal Dutch Airlines.

FERM: I think all these things are the most thrilling things of our lives. I think our other accomplishments for the Lord.... don’t measure up to what counts for the Lord. It’s marvelous.

WEISS: And here’s where the story about the young woman in Toronto fits in, about counseling and assurance and working with the people. I was an advisor in Toronto and on a Sunday afternoon a counselor brought a young woman to me and...and she didn’t seem to be very happy and so I said to her, “Well, how’s everything? That usually my line. “How’s everything? Is everything okay now? What did you find?” and she said, “Well, I’m not sure.” And I said, “Just what aren’t you sure of? Your salvation?” and she said, “Yes.” And I said, “Is that what you came for?” and she said, “Yes, that’s always been bothering me.” She says, “I’m a gospel singer and I’ve never been sure of my own salvation.” “Well, I said, do you want to be sure of it, is that what you want, really? Down really deep down in your life is that what you want?” And she said, “Yes, that’s what I want, I want to be sure. I’ve grown up singing about this thing that I’m not sure of myself.” And I said, “Okay,” I said, “Alright, let’s just ask God to give you that assurance if you want it.” And she said, “Yes, that’s what I want.” “Okay.” So, I prayed for her and she prayed and, oh, she just went away bubbling and you know she met the counselor. The counselor came back and said to me, “What did you say to this girl? You know I couldn’t get anything out of her and she was kind of down and when you got through with her she was all bubbly and happy and everything.” “Well, she knew she wasn’t saved,” I said, “And she wanted to be saved. She wanted to be sure of it. So that’s all, we just said a prayer together and I showed her how to be sure of her salvation.” Well, he said, “I’m glad you did.” But you see she hadn’t been sure of her salvation.

FERM: Yes, this is important. Now, this is one of the things we’ve discovered in England, that one of the biggest factors that we had was to find... to help people be assured of their salvation. There is the Church of England, you see, where they... where they don’t deal with individuals.

WEISS: I worked in England with Youth For Christ.

FERM: Yes, so you understand.

WEISS: Oh yes. It was the problems there. And you know for me bearing down on it was the thing that was difficult for them to get. That we would want to be sure of our salvation.

FERM: Yes, that’s right.

WEISS: And they’d say to me, “Well, we’ll be sure when we die we’ll know” and I’d say, “No, you need to be sure now.”

FERM: Now. Right. Now Mr. Weiss, I want you to... now we talked about the counselors and then Mr. Young had referred to the fact that Daddy Moon developed seven verses...

WEISS: Uh-huh.

FERM: ...and this was the basis and it was rather simple, but straight forward. Now, then... then when these people left the tent, did they sign anything so you....

WEISS: Oh, yes.

FERM: You had them sign a card?

WEISS: Yes, duplicates. That was one of the things required that had to be included. The counselor had a card to take with him and we had to have a duplicate in the office, you see, duplicates. And those were immediately copied.

FERM: And they were followed up.

WEISS: Yes, followed up.

FERM: Now, how did you...did you refer them to churches, or how did you handle that part of it?

WEISS: Well, when it was all over, Billy was very much were concerned about these people. He said he couldn’t sleep nights.

FERM: Yes, yes.

WEISS: In that first campaign it was all so new and different, so what’s going to happen to them? That’s the thing he told us one day that bothered him, was “What’s going to happen to them?” So, we thought we’d do something and since I was the head of the council, we said... Jenk...Mr. Jenkins called me up and said, “We’d better organize something so we get this follow-up started, so I don’t know how we got in touch with all these people when we had a meeting with them.... I don’t recall.... He got them together and we met at Trinity Methodist Church.

FERM: Oh, Jack Shuler’s church, yes.

WEISS: Yes, and 250 came out and we had planned what we would call an orientation now. An orientation on just simple things, what to do, what to do.

FERM: Yes, yes.

WEISS: “Just do a few things,” we’d say, “Call at the home, introduce yourself first of all.”

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: “Tell them you’re coming to see them because you were at the meeting and... at the Billy Graham meeting and made a decision you want to talk to.” I went out myself. It was a thrilling thing. And you know we’d say.... “Here’s the thing you really do... get in the house, talk to them...”

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: ...and... and be sure that they’re saved. Maybe...maybe...tell them about the assurance of salvation [unclear]and then ask them about a church and if they need a church tell them where the good churches are and so forth. And this, and then have prayer before you leave.”

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: “And then have a continued follow-up.” And I want to tell you about other follow-up and this thing that ought to be done, it’s a very serious thing. It needs a... the training shouldn’t stop with...with training in soul winning, with the training in follow-up, where these people will at least select out of the group that they counseled, at least ten of them and follow them up, not for ten days but for ten years...

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: ...by walking ahead of them.

FERM: Yes, this is my husband’s concern. He feels that we stopped too soon...

WEISS: Oh yes.

FERM: ...and we should, where there’s some concerted effort.... Of course, I think what Billy’s feeling has been is that some of this should be done...should then become the problem locally of the people, of the churches, but someone has to take this responsibility.

WEISS: Yes, you see people [?] do this with a lot of other things too.

FERM: That’s right.

WEISS: And unless this thing keeps tops, at least for awhile.... Now I met a university professor from Kyoto, Japan that I led to the Lord. I wrote him for ten years until I lost...couldn’t reach him any more or he moved or something. Ten years!

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: And one time he wrote to me and said this thing: “You are my pastor, I have no other pastor.”

FERM: Yes, how wonderful.

WEISS: Of course, I’m seven thousand miles away, but yes.

FERM: I think you’re quite right though. I think we neglect.... We drop too soon, right. Yes.

WEISS: We don’t have enough contact.... It will all be made a new thing; that this is my responsibility, this becomes my ministry.

FERM: Yes. My husband feels there should be a definite effort in Bible... Bible training too...

WEISS: Oh yes.

FERM: ...not just training to get in a church, but till they’re established.

WEISS: Yes. We need better Bible material for people. I think one of the...one of the things.... We need some good reading on the background of Christianity, down on their own level. I’d like to see a book like this new book, The Introduction to the Bible. [pauses, snaps fingers] Oh, I can’t think. Two men...one man.... Moody published it. On a level...on a super [?] level.

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: It would be a tremendous thing. There’s a new book out, something like that now with the background of the Bible so they wouldn’t get jittery when someone criticizes the Bible. Oh that book, I’d say I’d have given fifty dollars for that book if someone had given it to me twenty five years ago.

FERM: I’ll check on that. Moody Press, you say?

WEISS: Yes, Introduction to the Bible.

FERM: I will do that, yes.

WEISS: Now let me just say one thing now, a little thing about the progress of the meeting. One of the things was, it became very popular and everybody wanted to be on the platform. [laughs] That was one of the problems.

FERM: Well, I think that maybe that’s quite normal.

WEISS: It is. It happens....

FERM: It happens at a lot at crusades. [laughs]

WEISS: The thing with this, however, it worked that that’s the one place you didn’t want to be!

FERM: No! You wanted to be with the people.

WEISS: You wanted to be where the action was and that’s right. But, I remember one Sunday afternoon when we would change the meeting.... Do you have to change the....? {Ferm was checking the tape recorder]

FERM: No, I just want to be sure that it’s still going along and we’re getting... yes we’re getting....

WEISS: Well, I ‘ll mention this thing, because this was a very vital thing. The whole Committee met (in charge of it) whether to continue or not. And the thing had been running along and to tell you the truth about it, I wasn’t sure that it should. I said, “This is a good meeting and I hate to see a meeting go slowly down and out.” But when I got home and prayed about it I felt sure that God wanted to go on. No question in my mind. I said, “This thing is going too good to stop. Let us take the chances,” I said to myself. And so they had appointed a committee for three of us to make the decision. Cliff Smith was one of them, I was the other of course, and I forget the other man. I think it was Jenkins if I’m not mistaken. And of course, Billy was in on it. Billy would have to make the final decision because he was the man who was giving the messages.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: And so I remember very well going on the platform I passed Billy on that Sunday afternoon whether he was to make the announcements. And Billy said to me, “Well, what are we going to do?” He wanted to ask what I have in mind, see? And I said, “Why can’t we go on? What have we got to lose?” He said, “Nothing, but our reputation. Let’s go on.”

FERM: Oh, that’s great!

WEISS: That’s the very...that’s the words that he said.

FERM: Oh that’s marvelous.

WEISS: And he said the words in passing, just like this, you know. You know, and made the announcement that afternoon. Now he I think had his mind all made up before that you know, that he was going to go on. But the last thing, we had a little meeting just the three of us. We met together and said, “We’re going to go on, aren’t we? Yes. We’ve settled it.”

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: And then the things started to happen. Prayer meetings started to grow. People came in. Some outstanding people came in and were saved. Now, most of those outstanding conversions weren’t those outstanding people.

FERM: No.

WEISS: Some of them were....

FERM: They were just big name people, yes.

WEISS: Oh yes.

FERM: But there were some marvelous stories among the people that were just the rank and file.

WEISS: Just rank and file people.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: After all they were the people that really found the Lord

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: ...in a really big way.

FERM: And they were the ones that got to work maybe in the communities.

WEISS: Right. Oh yes. I think of people now. A man came to me, “I remember you. I was saved in the Billy Graham meetings.” First one there. A man just said that to me not long ago, an outstanding Christian worker. And I am I even still nowadays....

FERM: Yes, yes.

WEISS: They’re like that. Now, about this follow-up that we did, I think that was one of the outstanding things. We did some extended follow-up, but there was still 250 people going out and contacting people. That was the follow-up, you see. They made a kind of.... Many of them kept their contacts.

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: I remember a man that I...that I called on, I contacted him for years afterwards, you know, just because of that contact. And I went out. I said, “If this thing is good, I’d better get a taste of it myself.” So I just went out and got in my car and made calls.

FERM: Yes, that’s how you’d really know how it goes on.

WEISS: Oh yes, I’d talked to a man who was working in a drugstore and he said to me, “You know, I got charge of the liquor department here and I just thought today, I’m a saved man now. And this doesn’t make sense.”

FERM: Isn’t that amazing? How quickly they come to this understanding.

WEISS: He said, “I just thought today, this doesn’t make sense. So I said to the boss, “I got to have a job selling besides selling liquor,” and he said, “Well, we haven’t got another job.” “Well,” he said, “Then I’ll have to quit.” And he quit his job, and he said... you know, this was in his home, he said, “You know, the thing is, my wife lost her job at the same time.”

FERM: It was testing, wasn’t it?

WEISS: “...and now we’ve just got to trust God.”

FERM: But they got along all right?

WEISS: Oh yes.

FERM: Well, you know they would because God would honor them of course.

WEISS: Why, sure. Many, many instances like that. It was just tremendous thing...

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: ...and it has been many other meetings. I just get the thrill. I’m just wondering whether I ought to go up to Oakland or not, I have so many other things to do. I don’t know if I can make it or not, but the thing is, in this meeting, the follow-up. Now let me give you a wonderful thing about this follow-up. A man who I got to go out near Whittier, California, meet with a group of people out there. And we’d bunch them, so he didn’t have to travel as far. That took a lot of work in advance, so you get maybe ten calls within three miles.

FERM: Yes, this is important, yes.

WEISS: Yes. And he went out there He told me the story afterwards. He went out and he talked to people and many were saved. As a young man his wife was saved. And he looked and said, “Who are the people in there?” And he said.... the wife said, “That’s my father and mother-in-law.” He said, “Are they saved?” And he said, “No, they’re not. Would you talk to them?” And he said, “Oh, yes. That’s what I want to do.” Well, he talked to them and led them both to the Lord. Now this thing might have happened a hundred different times, for all we know.

FERM: Ah yes. We don’t know. We really can never count.

WEISS: Oh, no but I know of that instance and some other instances where something happened just like that.

[end of excerpt 1]

FERM: Now time is running out. Can you make comparisons between that crusade and other crusades in which you have been involved, or with the second Los Angeles crusade [in 1963] for the benefit of the organization [the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association] as well as for historical purposes?

WEISS: Yes. There...there was something unique about that first one. And the only thing I can say is that God took over it.

FERM: Can you distill that uniqueness into something that would make it different from the other crusades? Do you think that this was the answer, that...?

WEISS: Not too much. When I was in New York, at the first crusade in New York, I remember I had a need to go...to go for a few days to Portland for a meeting. And on the way down to the...to the airport in a taxi, I talked to the taxi driver as he picked me up at the [Madison Square] Garden. And I talked to him and even before...right in the crowded street I led him to the Lord, you know.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: That was there present too, but not to the extent that it was in Los Angeles.

FERM: Well do you think it was a community endeavor in Los Angeles?

WEISS: No.

FERM: Do you think New York is too much of a big city that you can’t...well, Los Angeles....

WEISS: I’ll tell you what I think was one of the things behind it. It was a group of committed people behind it. It wasn’t such as scattering of people.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: The spirit of revival was evident in their own hearts. .

FERM: Revival began really in them.

WEISS: In them, yes, really more than in other places. In fact, they had had other meetings just like this before.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: But not to the extent of this and these people became really stirred in their own hearts about it...

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: And it just spread all over Los Angeles.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: And people came in droves. I remember just one night after the meeting closed and there were only a few of us left, just clearing up the place and getting things.... Some...some theatrical people had driven in from Phoenix [Arizona], mind you. They said, “We had heard about this and we felt this thing was the kind of a thing that we ought to see and see what was really going on in a public thing like this.”

FERM: Uh-huh.

WEISS: And of course, I took the man aside and led him to the Lord. [chuckles]

FERM: Praise the Lord.

WEISS: After the meeting, when this happened, you know.

FERM: Yes.

WEISS: But drove all the way from Phoenix . And they got there too late, they couldn’t make it in time.

[end if second excerpt]


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