a billy graham center archives exhibit
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After eighteen years of ministry and five years of mulling over New York invitations, Billy Graham was prepared to hold an evangelistic campaign in New York City.
 
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"We are approaching this whole matter in the spirit of prayer. We feel that God can use Billy Graham effectively in advancing Christ’s Kingdom in this City." From a letter by Daniel M. Potter of the Protestant Council of the City of New York to Willis Haymaker of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association about a possible BGEA campaign. January 25, 1955. From Collection 1, Box 1, Folder 46.

 Billy Graham had become one of the best known evangelists in the United States by 1950 (the year the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was incorporated). He received invitations from individuals, churches, and groups of churches to hold an evangelistic campaign in New York City 1951 and 1954. But Graham and his staff hesitated because they did not feel a clear leading from God to move ahead in New York. They were not sure they were ready to handle the challenge.

In 1955, the BGEA received another inquiry from the Protestant Council of the City of New York about holding an evangelistic campaign. By this time, the BGEA had more experience, including the complex 1954 London Crusade. By the end of the year, the BGEA had accepted an invitation from the Council in cooperation with other church groups to come to hold a six week crusade in the city starting in May 15, 1957.

Click below for items on Invitation
item 8: from Collection 1, box 6, folder 7
item 7: from Collection 7, Box 5, Folder 2
item 9: from Collection 1, Box 1, Folder 46
Letter from Billy Graham
Advance
pamphlet
Crusade
handbill
item 10: from Collection 1, box 1, folder 46
item 11: from Collection 108, audio tape T1
item 12: from Collection 141, audio tape T3 and transcript
Early
letter
Graham's comments
Dan Potter's interview
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© 2005 Wheaton College and © 2005 BGEA