YOUNG: I am in the printing business. I have a printing plant in Hollywood called the Cloister Press. I started it in 1925 when I was a lad just out of knee pants and graduated from Hollywood High School, seventeen years old. So I’ve been privileged to be a part of the Hollywood scene for a long time.
FERM: You really understand it then. Well, at least you know it. Whether you understand it or not.
YOUNG: I don’t claim to understand it.
FERM: Nobody understands it, do they?
YOUNG: We love Hollywood and we love this area here. Now the crusade that we are going to talk about in 1949 really began, from my point of view, quite a bit before that. Because in 1944, a group chiefly of laymen, organized a committee called Christ for Greater Los Angeles, Inc. Clifford Smith was the president. This group invited Hyman Appelman to come for a tent campaign [fall of 1945]. As soon as I learned about it, I got active on publicity for Hollywood. I blanketed Hollywood with posters and literature of all sorts because I believed in this type of mass evangelism because I had had a taste of it when I was a small boy in Boise, Idaho, many years before. So I got in on the fringe of it just as a volunteer worker and apparently my enthusiasm for getting Hollywood to enlist in a mass evangelism crusade interested the folks on the Committee, because at once I was invited to come to join the Committee. Claude C. Jenkins was executive secretary of the Committee and was selected just following the Hyman Appelman crusade. It was an interesting crusade. I took some of my Sunday School men, as I call them, from the seventh grade of the First Methodist Church of Hollywood at that time. And these lads got gloriously saved there in the tent.
FERM: They did?
YOUNG: So I was thankful for that. Then, as the days came and went, we had many crusades, little and big. Now if my memory serves me correctly, we had a one-night stand at Hollywood Bowl with Billy Graham in 1945. [Christ for Greater Los Angeles, in cooperation with Youth for Christ held a rally in the Hollywood Bowl in 1945 with Jack Shuler as evangelist and another on June 21, 1947 with Billy Graham as evangelist.] I might be mistaken....
FERM: I’d have to check that. I couldn’t verify that.
YOUNG: But I think that was it. We put it under the banner of Youth for Christ. In our Christ for Greater Los Angeles work, we couldn’t care less who got the credit for what was going on, but at that time the Youth for Christ banner was an excellent banner, as it is even today, and we made a cooperative effort there. We had thousands of young and old--mostly young--at Hollywood Bowl and had Billy Graham as the speaker. There was one thing that impressed me particularly, and that was that even before the altar call was given, young people were trekking down and kneeling at the altar.
FERM: This was four years before the Los Angeles crusade?
YOUNG: Now whether it was four years before or not, this is just in my memory.
FERM: But is was before.
YOUNG: But it was before the Los Angeles crusade.
FERM: So in a sense, Billy was already having this kind of effect in his ministry.
YOUNG: Well, it was not widespread particularly,
YOUNG: But at any rate, we had a great movement of the Spirit that night. This is again, my memory about a quarter of a century ago.
FERM: We can check the facts, but still what you are saying is remarkable, that before that first great crusade, these things were already happening in isolated meetings.
YOUNG: That is true.
FERM: This is what....
YOUNG: And I was watching Billy Graham. I thought that that young man was really getting a blessing across to the people and that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him. In the summer of 1949, I had the privilege of taking my family through Europe, in a Europe that was just war- devastated in those days, and certain of the cities, for example in Germany, were such that we could not tell where the streets had been as we went through the rubble heap.
FERM: We still saw that four or five years later, Cologne.
YOUNG: Oh yes, Cologne was badly damaged.
FERM: Right to the ground, except the cathedral.
YOUNG: It took a long time in some of those areas. Well, anyway, we were privileged to be there. And we stopped in at the Youth for Christ Headquarters in London. And just talking shop we were talking about the different evangelists on the horizon and the young man who was in charge there said, “Now of all the evangelists, I think the one that is going to amount to the most is a young fellow named Billy Graham.” I said, “That...
YOUNG: : “Concurs...”
YOUNG: “...with my sentiment entirely.” Well, then in 1948 and early 1949, we were in negotiation with Billy to come to Los Angeles. Our Christ for Greater Los Angeles office was diligent in making preparations. There were many things that were standing in the way. There was a big building supposed to be built on the lot that we wanted to hold a... place our tent on, Washington and Hill Streets. And we somewhat put out a fleece to say, “Now if that big lot right there at the fringe of the business section of Los Angeles is available to us, we will go ahead.”
Claude Jenkins was working on this. We were praying about it. It just looked as if there were no possibilities in getting that strategically located lot. And then, things just began to fall into place and the lot was available. We got the biggest tent that was in the West and set it up. And we set up a strange situation there because we knew that we might have small crowds, at least to start with, so we put the chairs in, and spaced them as widely as we could [Ferm laughs] so as to make a small crowd look like a big crowd.
FERM: That’s psychology.
YOUNG: We didn’t want to deceive people but we wanted to have the feel of a pretty good crowd. As the meeting started off, things were very discouraging. They were extremely discouraging. In fact, while you are here in Los Angeles, maybe you would get a chance to check with the weather bureau to confirm the fact that our memory tells us that we had the coldest weather at that time in the fall that we had had in a long time.
FERM: The dates were?
YOUNG: I’ve forgotten the exact dates.
FERM: It was in the fall, though.
YOUNG: But it was in the fall and we sat there just trembling with the cold. And that isn’t customary in Los Angeles. The strange thing about our weather here is that our June and July evenings are usually colder than our fall evenings. Our fall evenings are unusually warm in comparison with the rest. At any rate, we had a bad time. The crowd got very small. We were trying to get some war surplus gasoline burning heaters to put in the aisles. In fact, my memory doesn’t serve me well as to whether we put any of them in or not, but I know we were scouring for methods of heating a tent.
FERM: And how do you heat a tent?
YOUNG: Yes, how do you heat a tent? You let all outdoors in. So things went along that way. We had unusual support from several...several sources. Just before the crusade opened, Billy spent about a week at Forest Home with Henrietta Nears from Hollywood First Presbyterian Church and with Edwin J. Orr, [J. Edwin Orr] a little evangelist that had a great message.
FERM: Right, I’ve met him.
YOUNG: And Billy had a wonderful experience up there, so we were told from the young people that were there. Billy came to the crusade tent fresh from that experience, and we were getting great preaching. We were having a Spirit-filled time, but our crowds were very, very small. We were praying for warmer weather. We were just praying that the Lord would somehow bless. As we went along, the crusade was pretty well bogged down as far as numbers were concerned. We had a meeting to know whether to go on with the crusade or not. And Billy, as I recall , told us that it was up to us, because he had taken it up with the Lord, and all that he had to risk was his reputation and he was willing to risk that, there was no question. So if we decided to go on, he was ready to go on. Now regarding this support, the college department young people of Hollywood First Presbyterian Church were, in my opinion, the strongest spiritual element that we had.
FERM: That’s marvelous. I didn’t know that.
YOUNG: They were absolutely fantastic in their support.
FERM: [to herself] Oh wait a min. No.
YOUNG: Now the one church that gave us the greatest backing was Trinity Methodist Church under Dr. Bob Shuler, the fiery Bob Shuler. He told me at the end of the crusade that his church had lost $20,000 in offerings just from the meetings that they had closed up in order to come to the tent, and they were ill- prepared for that financially. But, he said, “Never mind, it was worth it.” Now one thing I would like to relate at this point is just a little aside.
FERM: May I just interrupt and say did you have a crusade Committee or a chairman or a treasurer, and if so, what position did you hold in this?”
YOUNG: Now, the chairman of our group, the president of Christ for Greater Los Angeles, Inc., was Clifford Smith...
FERM: Was Clifford Smith.
YOUNG: ...a man in the garment manufacturing business, a man with great vision for the Lord. And Cliff Smith handled things with a strong hand from the point of view of being chairman, but the work, the real horse work, day in and day out, was handled by Claude C. Jenkins, a Methodist layman.
FERM: Now is he still in the Los Angeles area?
YOUNG: Claude went to be with the Lord some years ago.
FERM: Oh, so there is no way we could contact him.
YOUNG: No. Now this work was carried on that way. Frankly I am not quite sure, but I’ m quite sure I was vice president of the corporation at that time. Because I was elected vice-president of the corporation along about that period and I have forgotten because we didn’t stand on ceremony.
FERM: You were really more working together as a...as a unit to pray this thing and get this thing....
YOUNG: That’s right. Every man in the Committee had a job to do and did it magnificently. For example, we had a little man called “Uncle Billy” Schofield, William L R. Schofield, and he was in charge of...of properties, and when we needed that tent to be there at the right time, then Billy Schofield would see that it was there and that it was ready. Now United Tent and Awning Company, as I recall, was the name of the company that handled the regular tent, and they would take care of things, but Billy would see that things were right. If we had to have more chairs, we would get chairs, all you would do was tell Billy Schofield. Whatever the problem was, and there were lots of physical problems like that.
FERM: Was he a layman? Was he a business man?
YOUNG: He was an insurance man, a businessman, a longtime Hollywood resident, one of the old-timers. Again, he has gone to be with the Lord. But each one of these men had a task to do. And I used to tell my wife that if I were ever president of the United States, there is only one group that I know that could run the nation without any outside help. That was Christ for Greater Los Angeles.
FERM: Oh, that’s marvelous.
YOUNG: We had men like Dr. Harold Straub, oral surgeon, as our treasurer.
FERM: Yes, I’m going to be interviewing him this morning.
YOUNG: Great man to see. And a man of great ability and great faith and yet great common sense on dollars. By the way, on this matter of financing, and this just a little wandering from the cause, but is very important in anything of this nature. Our financing was taken care of in a most unusual way. When we would decide on a crusade, our committee would sit in meeting, very often just in a circle, and we would hand out blank slips of paper (little three by five slips of paper that Claude Jenkins always had on his desk) and each one of us would write on that slip of paper how much money we would put in as underwriters. Now very often, the underwriting ended up being just donations to the cause, but basically, we always started out on a basis of underwriting. Now, as I recall, my slip said $300. Now that wasn’t a lot of money, but of course, dollars were slightly bigger than they are today.
FERM: That’s right, that’s right.
YOUNG: But we would put in what we could. Then we would go and bring the money and put it in the treasury and we would receive a little slip of paper saying that this was underwriting. Should the crusade pay out financially, we would get our money back. If it paid out 50%, we would get 50% of our money. In that fashion, it was just a donation with that possibility, that contingency, it might come back. We called it underwriting, however. Just about the same time, a fraternity brother of mine, a good Christian fraternity brother of mine was entering into a business deal , and he was buying into a corporation - which they were forming, actually - and his stock in the corporation cost him twelve cents a share, and the last time I knew, that stock had been divided four times, and it was in the seventies of dollars, so that twelve cents per share for $300 would have been the nature of a million dollars. And I had often told my wife and my friends that if I had it today to do over again and I had the choice of putting the $300 in the crusade treasury or the $300 in this well-known stock at twelve cents a share, I wouldn’t hesitate a moment. My $300 would go on the Billy Graham crusade...
FERM: That’s a marvelous choice and you still feel this way.
YOUNG: ...because I feel that the Lord has been the Lord of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes because on down through the years I have never.... The men and women and boys and girls whose lives were changed right there, as they walked that sawdust trail, they are the real reward.
FERM: It still goes on, doesn’t it? Could you be specific, as long as we are talking about budget, could you remember in broad terms what the general budget for that crusade turned out to be, that first crusade, or is that asking too much?
YOUNG: Oh, that would be pretty hard, but I think I have all the figures.
FERM: Well, maybe some time you could give us these. This would be very interesting as compared with something now, you know.
YOUNG: That’s true.
YOUNG: We didn’t pinch pennies about putting on a crusade. We would plunge in the matter of publicity and details like that. I have...have forgotten...
FERM: Well, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure we....
YOUNG: ...what that might be, but we felt the same, from the point of view of the layman on the street, folks thought that we and our committee were out of our gourds with this kind of money at a revival...
YOUNG: ...because revivals were out of date.
YOUNG: They weren’t going to come to mass revivals.
FERM: Yes, mass evangelism was over, so they said.
YOUNG: You see, it was over. We just didn’t know. We were dead and buried and
FERM: The Lord hadn’t told you yet. [laughs]
YOUNG: Nobody told us that. That was the way it went. I think the details of the way that the Lord sparked the interest tremendously are matters of history when we had the remarkable conversions of...
YOUNG: ...Stuart Hamblen, and others.
FERM: We have those wonderful stories, you know. These are the things we know, but what we don’t know were the actual inner workings of how this crusade got started, because it is a magnificent story. For example, you were telling when I interrupted you, how churches got involved. Were there many other churches, besides the one you were talking about?
YOUNG: Yes, there were quite a few churches that came in to help us.
YOUNG: Somewhat. Somewhat. Church of the Open Door helped us to quite an extent. There was no church that came in with the total enthusiasm (no big church, let us say) comparable to that of Trinity Methodist, that was absolutely outstanding--but we had many other churches, and many small churches, that helped. The big churches were rather aloof, and there had never been any great inter-church cooperation of a type that we were to see in days ahead.
YOUNG: because this was the one greatest crusade that brought the many churches in. Now when the churches came in, it was not necessarily an official movement into the organization or into cooperation but we found that a great share of the lay people moved in to help. And we found an approbation that came through the laity where the hierarchy of the churches still kept pretty far away and pretty much aloof. But it just became, ultimately, such a groundswell that it was tremendous. You’d go to the restaurant and you would find that the truck drivers and the waiters were talking about that Billy Graham crusade, hat meeting down there in that big tent, and folks were just going there.
FERM: It really affected the community. It wasn’t just something that was superimposed. But it moved out with tentacles into the whole community.
YOUNG: That’s right. It was a definite grass roots movement, and it was thrilling that way. And the Lord just blessed, because so many people were getting saved. Now one of the things that interested me when...when Stuart Hamblen came to the Lord and Louis Zamperini and Harvey Fritz and Jim Vaus, and these folks that succeeded in helping get the message on the headlines. And by the way, we had wonderful cooperation from the Hearst papers. Now that cooperation came not particularly because it was Billy, but it came because of his connection with Youth for Christ. The Hearst papers would give us great cooperation, and if we would have mentioned that Billy Graham was active in Youth for Christ activities, they would just do anything extra for us...
FERM: How remarkable.
YOUNG: ...and that was a remarkable thing. I believe that a big share of the success of that era in Christian work is due to the cooperation of the Hearst newspapers.
FERM: It will be interesting in history, won’t it?
YOUNG: I believe so. It was thrilling. So we found that the blessings came, and then we had to put the chairs in closer together.
YOUNG: And then we added more chairs and pretty soon, we ran out of space for chairs....
FERM: Now can we just stop and say...? You said that when I...before we got off on several different subjects, that for a period of time, it was very slow going, the weather was cold, you couldn’t get people to come. Well, not too many people came.
YOUNG: The crowds were small.
FERM: Well, what turned the tide? Was it the publications, or was it the weather or...?
YOUNG: The weather changed for one thing.
FERM: The weather changed.
YOUNG: Now if the weather did not change, then it must have been that there was enough fire in the pulpit to keep us warm. I don’t remember any problem of shivering in the tent after that. Now of course, there may be one thing, that great masses of people tend to keep one another warm. That may have helped a little bit. But I think, and I have never gone back and checked it, but I think it would be worth checking...
FERM: This is something I am going to do.
YOUNG: ...I am pretty sure that our weather did warm up appreciably in the evening, and then we went along. But the funny part of it was, just the human point of view, that when we put the tent flaps up and the people were standing outside, that tended to attract more people. And our big problem was not how to get a crowd, but how to keep the Los Angeles police department from being too unhappy about the way they would stand in the streets and block traffic.
FERM: What a wonderful problem! [laughs]
YOUNG: What a wonderful problem. So it went along that way, and we were very appreciative.
Now there was one thing. We would like to give tribute to the churches that did cooperate, because in extending the meeting, we did great damage to the regularly scheduled programs of many churches.
YOUNG: And they were most gracious about adjusting their programs, of taking a loss in their own collection plates, as I mentioned with Trinity Church, and just a general disruption of their programs in order to let this go on. Many churches would bring church buses to support the meetings. And so that [pauses] we’re thankful that way.
FERM: Do you have any remembrance of after the crusade whether or not more people attended these churches that were participating churches, so that in a sense they didn’t lose as much as they might have thought they would?
YOUNG: Oh, I am confident that any church that participated in that crusade received...
FERM: Such a blessing.
YOUNG: ...an overabundance of the spiritual blessing, but also...
FERM: In numbers.
YOUNG: ...the growth in membership and blessing that way.
FERM: This is one of the arguments we have always used with churches all around the world, that if they really would become involved and really would bring their people, they would grow, because people want to come back to the place where this kind of message is taught and preached.
YOUNG: I believe that is very true. And you know, I am one who is not too much concerned about examining folks methods and reasons for going into a thing.
YOUNG: I have some friends that are always saying, “Well, now, would you examine that man’s intentions. Isn’t there a little selfish intent in there somewhere.” Let’s not worry about that. When you’re in the Lord’s work, let’s just move ahead. I have found that the folks that start in on something and might have been criticized for being slightly selfish in their reasoning, still moved on and did great things for the Lord. I am opposed to the folks that spend too much time on introspection,...
FERM: I am too. I quite agree with you.
YOUNG: ...trying to analyze every little thing.
FERM: I quite agree with you. And I think that, as Billy says, there’s so much work to be done for the Lord, and so few people to do it. Let’s...let’s not worry about all these things. Let’s just get on and get it done.
YOUNG: And I am a strong free enterprise man. And I think when the Lord talks about profit, “What shall it profit a man?” I think the Lord is interested in profit, and if we, from a selfish point of view, get our church into something where there might be a profit for the church as far as members and spiritual temperature and all, I’m for it. Never mind.
FERM: But if it’s for the church, then we’re not really being selfish, are we?
YOUNG: Why no. If it’s the church and for the Lord, that’s perfectly all right.
FERM: That’s right. Well, let’s see. Let us go on. We were talking about churches. We talked about your laymen’s committee that sponsored it. When did...when did you officially contact Billy? I mean, you decided to have this crusade, and then you immediately thought of Billy. You did not just choose him out of a great pool of people.
YOUNG: Oh, we had a number of evangelists.
FERM: I see.
YOUNG: And we had several sessions on this as to whether we should invite Billy, and if we did invite Billy, if he could come. He was trying to make arrangements on his program so that he could come.
FERM: I see.
YOUNG: Oh, yes, we had lots of conversation or talks on it before we confirmed the fact that Billy would come.
FERM: Uh-huh. But you had already been impressed with him...?
YOUNG: Oh, we were much impressed with him. Oh yes, we wanted to have at least one crusade somewhere with Billy some time. This one worked out that way.
FERM: You had had a series of other evangelists, such as Hyman Appelman [in 1944], and others.
YOUNG: We had a number of other evangelists.
FERM: Who were some of the others?
YOUNG: Well, for example, we had a couple of young fellows that we wanted to have hold a meeting. The reason we took two of them was that neither one of them had enough sermons to carry through for a three-week crusade, so we had to call in Merv Rosell and Charles Templeton [in 1947].
FERM: Oh yes.
FERM: We brought them and made a double-header bill on this. And these boys would take turns preaching. Then they would stir up another sermon and get going again. And it was fantastic. This boy Charlie Templeton could just preach fantastically. That was before he went to seminary. I think he was better before he went to seminary. [Ferm laughs] And we had rich blessings there. But we had a number of evangelists. I believe that we have responsibilities today to cultivate again a good crop of evangelists. You know, [pauses] the success we have had through the years with the Graham crusades have made it very difficult for some other evangelists. Because folks said, “Look, we want Billy or no one.’
FERM: This is true.
YOUNG: So I think that we have a responsibility of sponsoring, helping and scheduling other evangelists.
FERM: Yes, because there is a lot of work to be done and Billy can’t do it all.
YOUNG: There is an enormous amount of work. And also I think there are some considerations to the fact that some of our crusades should be a little bit longer. I realize that by our putting so much emphasis upon having Billy at the crusades these days, makes it difficult for him to spend as much time at the crusade. But a crusade of fewer than three weeks has a very hard time financially in a community.
FERM: It does.
YOUNG: And if a crusade can run a little longer, three or four weeks, the natural operation of the crusade can make it a self-liquidating project very often.
FERM: Do you think that you could start from the same grass roots that you started from in 1949 and have another great meeting? Would you dare? Would the men of Los Angeles Christian Businessmen dare to try this again, do you think?
YOUNG: I believe so, and I think we are being negligent by not doing it. I think we should do it. I think we should put our money in there as risk capital and do it again. I am enthusiastic about it. I was talking to Cliff Smith about three weeks ago about it and we should get busy and do it again.
FERM: In other words, you feel that what happens to the community in the process of doing it is one of the very fine things, the fact that you pull together, and you pray together, and you really work towards this...this goal.
YOUNG: That community and inter-church cooperation is fantastic. It has built more goodwill through the years in the Los Angeles community than any other movement within the church, in my opinion. There’s one other thing. We received a great deal of Full Gospel support with our committee all the time. And I believe that the good feeling in the Los Angeles area between the Full Gospel Pentecostal group and the other Evangelical church groups stems more from activity of Christ for Greater Los Angeles than any other movement we have had. Also, I believe that the Christ for Greater Los Angeles Corporation, although still in existence and still carrying on from the point of view of its individual members, has had a great impact that way. I believe that we should join again under that banner to do something else great for the Lord. Through the years now, we have all been working within the Billy Graham organization, whenever a meeting was held or the promotion of a film, or something like that has been in evidence. But I think we should probably get the group together.
FERM: Do you think there is a sense in which the Billy Graham organization has become such a large one that there is a tendency on the part of people in a city to rather relapse and let the bigger organization do some of the work for them?
YOUNG: I think that might be the case. I think that that’s a....
FERM: Is it an over-generalization?
YOUNG: No, but I think that would be a danger. I think there should be more of the inter-group working, such as we have in Christ for Greater Los Angeles. You’ll notice that aside from the Graham crusade work, a big share of the evangelistic work today is being carried on within the Pentecostal family where the emphasis is largely on faith healing as the drawing card, we might say. I believe that the evangelicals, other than the Pentecostals, or in cooperation with the Pentecostals, should be active in promoting some mass evangelism meetings that would be outside the Billy Graham organization. And it should be...even though they were harder to generate, I believe it should be done again. I do believe that there needs to be a great deal of evangelistic work that has a drawing emphasis rather than the physical healing, although I am certainly enthusiastic about the physical healing aspects of the Gospel ministry, these are just some of the things that come to my mind and heart.
FERM: As you think about that crusade in connection with the 1963 crusade, would you like to make some comparisons? And are there some thing that you.... I think this is a very, very vital contribution that you people, who have been in two crusades--one at the very beginning of Billy’s ministry and one many years later--can make. For example, we haven’t really...you did talk of how you felt about Mr. Graham as an evangelist when he was very young. This is the reason that you wanted him to conduct this crusade. And you have certainly told about what you think about evangelism. But now, 1963, that was ...’49, fifteen years later...no, fourteen years after the 1949 crusade--could we start, for example: What were the major differences? We know there were many. We know it wasn’t in a tent and we know there were a lot of things that.... But what you like to...how would you like to start that?
YOUNG: Well, now I would like to preface with the fact that I don’t consider that the second Graham crusade. I consider it the fourth one we had a part in, because we had a really great meeting in Hollywood Bowl that night...
FERM: That’s right.
YOUNG: ...even though it was only a one-night stand.
FERM: That’s right.
YOUNG: Then we had the 1949 crusade, then we had the 1951 crusade in Hollywood Bowl...
FERM: That’s right.
YOUNG: Then we had the crusade at the East Los Angeles...was it junior college, or East Los Angeles College, at the stadium there...
YOUNG: ...and then the 1963 crusade. There would be five crusades.
FERM: Well, I guess what I am really asking would be, for the sake of history, and for the sake of our organization, what kinds of comparisons or differences would you like to note among them? Maybe that’s better.
YOUNG: I didn’t want to dodge your question.
FERM: Well, I think you’re...this is where....
YOUNG: I wanted to call your attention to the fact that these went along progressively through the years.
FERM: This was. And I wasn’t trying to eliminate them, I just wasn’t aware.
YOUNG: I realize that, but in that connection, the feeling that I have is that the 1963 crusade had a pattern impressed upon us that was a little bit artificial. And that we might have done a little better by using more of the home-proven patterns that we had developed through the years, because most of the innovations that came along had to be changed back to the original patterns...
YOUNG: ... that we had used through the years in order to get success here.
FERM: Yes. As when we were in Japan, we were getting ready for the crusade over there, and I remember a wonderful Japanese Christian said, “You evangelize, and let us Japanize.” [Young laughs] And I think they were right, weren’t they. You know your own people, in a community. So what you are saying is when the organization comes in, quite often these general patterns which have been used in many crusades really do have to be modified, and maybe if they were done sooner than later, you think it would be...?
YOUNG: Well, I am not so sure about that. But I felt personally that the Graham pattern was impressed upon us here in Los Angeles a little more severely than needed to be because of the experience that we had had through the years prior to that. I think possibly the pattern might be necessary in another city that had not had the inter-church cooperation that we had developed here through the years. Now those were just some personal feelings as far as I am concerned.
FERM: Well, this is...that is a feeling I have picked up recently on several interviews, and this is why I think I am asking you to state it directly, because I think we should know this.
YOUNG: And as long as you are giving me the privilege of being critical at this point, if need be, I felt that we rented too expensive office space. I thought we should have kept to a little more modest image of our pre-crusade development. Now those are just personal opinions.
FERM: Well, you’re...you’re entitled to them.
YOUNG: I felt that was important.
FERM: And if the people, the local people who are after all the people that are going to be charged with the responsibility of it after the Graham crusade leaves and also have to answer to it, to the problems as well as the success that may have, that may come.
YOUNG: Now another thing. In our work with Christ for Greater Los Angeles through the years, we would invite others to participate.
YOUNG: Any church, any group, was welcome to come.
YOUNG: We felt that in the 1963 crusade--I shouldn’t say we--I felt that in the 1963 crusade that we were a little strongly tied to the better organized church groups, like our church federation at that time, called the Los Angeles Council of Churches. But you know, in the 1963 crusade now, as long as you asked some comparisons, there was one man that was very strongly instrumental in getting that crusade across. And he’s a cousin of mine; second cousin of mine. And his name is Chester Buley. He was what you might call second in command of the Los Angeles Presbytery.
YOUNG: No, B-u-l-e-y. He was what you might call second in command of the Los Angeles Presbytery, of the Presbyterian headquarters, 1501 Wilshire Boulevard. He had been meeting with a number of his people for many, many months in hopes of having another crusade. He called me at home one night [phone rings and tape recorder is turned off and on again] So Chester Buley called me at home one night and he said, “I think we are ready.” I said, “Chester, you’re ready?” He said, “Yes. I think our group is ready to cooperate with your Christ for Greater Los Angeles and invite Billy and have a crusade in Los Angeles.” I said, “Fine!” He said, “Let’s do it.” I said, “You know, I talked to you about it years ago.” And so he had us convene a meeting at the Church Federation office, I should say the Los Angeles Council of Churches headquarters was 5330 West Adams Boulevard in those days. We had the meeting there, organized, sent an invitation to Billy, and he decided to come for the 1963 crusade.
FERM: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
YOUNG: So, ah....
FERM: Do you think there is a sense in which a certain crusade reached one strata of laymen and churches and other crusades reach others? Are we saying that each one of them should go this way? Do you know what I’m trying to...?
YOUNG: I think I get part of the idea that you have there. I am wondering, you know, not to be critical but to be evaluative.
YOUNG: That is right. But now I believe that the interest slashes right across denominational lines. And we enlisted a great many folks in committee work and a great many churches for a cooperative basis.
FERM: Excuse me. [tape recorder turned off and turned on again] Still going.
YOUNG: All right.
FERM: We were talking about the formal denominations, the participation of the Presbyterians at this latter crusade, and I asked you a question about....
YOUNG: Yes, we had a question about the different denominations and their work. But you know, there is a situation that is created by a united effort like this where a great many of the church groups that are not basically fervent in their evangelical fervor, tend to come in on the fringe and very often some of this dry wood catches fire.
FERM: Yes, yes, praise the Lord.
YOUNG: And amounts to something. That’s right, so those are important things. But to push offices of responsibility on the leaders of the churches that are just nominally lukewarm is rather questionable in my opinion.
FERM: Yes, yes.
YOUNG: I have had to work with a number of these through the years. It has not been an unpleasant method of working, but we have not had great production from them usually.
FERM: No, no.
YOUNG: But now and then, we have had them catch fire and go along in great style, so those are some of the things.
FERM: Now one question I must ask you...
FERM: ...and that is follow-up.
FERM: I must ask you about that before this [the tape] runs out. Did you make any concerted follow-up effort in 1949?
YOUNG: Oh, we had a definite effort after the 1949 crusade in following up things. We had a little lady that we hired full-time to do much of the follow-up herself. We had the follow-up through the churches, and much of this follow-up work that is now in use in the Billy Graham crusades across the world was developed during this period. Benjamin Weiss, who will be talking with you here will have more things to tell you about the follow-up. What was our girl’s name? Was it Querk? It wasn’t Querk.
WEISS: No, she’s not...she’s not....
YOUNG: It was Hazel Fleek [?], who was hired for much of the follow-up when it was within an area she could arrange. In fact, Christ for Greater Los Angeles arranged for her to get an automobile at the time and to go out with much of this follow-up work just day in and day out. It was carried on that way.
FERM: Oh that’s nice. So for about how long?
YOUNG: Oh, what was it, months and months I think as we....
WEISS: Six months at least.
YOUNG: Yeah, half a year or so.
YOUNG: And then many of the churches cooperated with that follow-up but it wasn’t so well organized as it is today, but there were some beginnings there that were important.
FERM: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
YOUNG: And just a couple other things that we shouldn’t neglect.
FERM: All right.
YOUNG: The prayer tent before the meeting opened every night was a source of power. If there is any one technique of the successful meeting, it is to have a great prayer meeting just before the tent doors open...
YOUNG: So that there is a band of prayer warriors praying there, then have them move in, fill a section of the tent as the meeting is ready to begin, and things are already warmed up to a good level.
FERM: Yes, I am going to interview Armin Gesswein later on today, so we’ll talk a bit about...about the prayer effectiveness.
YOUNG: A saint of the Lord, that Lutheran who came to stand with us at a time that Lutherans...
FERM: Weren’t doing this kind of thing.
YOUNG: ...were staying away, at arm’s length, from this thing.
FERM: That’s right, that’s right.
YOUNG: They were staying away in droves, but here was a Lutheran who stood with us right from the beginning.
FERM: Now what other things? You said there were a few other things we should talk about before we concluded. The prayer...the prayer tent. How about where the inquirers went? Did you have a special band of people to help these?
YOUNG: Yes. Yes, indeed. Benjamin Weiss will tell you more about that, but there was one person who was a key man here, and that was I. A. Moon--we called him “Daddy Moon.” In my opinion, his sequence of Bible verses that he used when he was dealing with an inquirer has never been improved upon. There are seven little verses that he used to train us on using that would let the man know when he left the inquirers tent that he was born again and knew that he was born again because he went out with a new soul relationship with his Lord Jesus Christ that was remarkable and effective. Now we have many different shifts in the follow-up method in the inquirers room method, but none has been an improvement over the little series of verses that I. A. Moon trained us [in]. And I believe that the basis would be such that the reversion to that...
YOUNG: ...would be an improvement over any system that we have had, and we have had many, many training sessions
FERM: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
YOUNG: ...for the counselors. I think that the training of the counselors itself would be enough reason to have a crusade in a city.
FERM: Oh, absolutely, some of them find the Lord in the counselor training.
YOUNG: It is remarkable.
YOUNG: Now you feel this is a very strong part of our program.
YOUNG: Very strong part, but I still think that a reversion to some of the simpler sequences of the verses would be an improvement over the present.
FERM: Train them but give them more specific, simple, routines.
YOUNG: Yes, I think that we have complicated it needlessly.
FERM: I see.
YOUNG: The simpler method that we used at the time was still more effective than the present methods.
FERM: Well, Mr. Young, I have kept you for such a long time, and I appreciate very much your contribution. I know, through time, this is going to be valuable. Thank you so much.
YOUNG: Thank you, Lois Ferm.
FERM: Thank you.