a billy graham center archives exhibit
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ITEM 2.1
Transcript of "Answers to Questions..."

1. What is the “The Billy Graham New York Crusade, Inc.”

“The Billy Graham New York Crusade, Inc.” is the official name for a united evangelistic crusade, or preaching mission, to be held in New York City and directed toward the goal of reaching the millions of this metropolis with the Christian Gospel message. The Crusade was incorporated on May 17, 1956, under the laws of the State of New York and is a recognized non-profit corporation.

2. When and where will the Crusade meetings take place?

The Crusade will begin on Wednesday evening, May 15, 1957, with meetings scheduled each night in Madison Square Garden at 7:30, continuing through Sunday, June 30. Facilities are available which make it possible for the Crusade to continue for a longer period of time.

3. What is the total program of the Crusade to reach New York City?

The major emphasis will be on the nightly meetings in Madison Square Garden, with its capacity of approximately 20,000 persons. Each evening Dr. Graham will deliver an evangelistic message and the service will feature songs by the 1.,500 voice volunteer choir, scripture reading, prayers and so forth. The Crusade will have a wider outreach through a daily radio program over station WABC (770 k.c.) at 12:15 noon, and through a daily TV program. Associate evangelists will conduct meetings throughout the area wherever openings present themselves.

4. Who instituted the Crusade who invited Billy Graham to New York City?

The invitation to Billy Graham was extended officially by the Committee on Evangelism of the Protestant Council of the City of New York, in conjunction with scores of other religious organizations and churches representing every major denomination and many independent groups. Approximately 1,400 different churches throughout the Greater New York area have enrolled as active participants in the Crusade.

5. Why was the New York City area chosen for this major effort?

As the world's largest city, New York offers the potential for a religious impact, not only on America, but on the whole world. The emphasis will not only be on New York City as such, but will include the larger area extending through suburban Westchester county, suburban Connecticut, Long Island and Northern and Southern New Jersey. Across America surveys have shown that 6C% of the population holds membership in a church, but in New York City the surveys indicate that very nearly 69 % have no affiliation with any religious group whatsoever, Protestant, Catholic or Jewish. The upsurge of religious interest noticed in recent years across America has not found its counterpart in New York City, thus indicating the tremendous need of the metropolitan area.

6. In what way are the churches and their members sharing in this Crusade?

There are opportunities for church members to serve in many different ways during the Crusade.

    1. As counsellors – those who will go through an extensive training program and who will be assigned each night to counsel and to advise those who have come to a point of decision and who wish to commit their lives to Christ to live the Christian faith.

    2. As choir members -- a 1,500 voice volunteer choir will be recruited from the various churches.

    3. As ushers -- approximately 600 men from the churches will be required each night to serve as ushers.

    4. As prayer partners -- literally thousands of church people will be sharing in the daily cottage prayer meeting programs, linked together with the Prayer Time radio broadcast over radio station WABC.

    5. On various committees -- there will be opportunity for work in the young people's department, on the college and university committee, the industrial prayer meeting committee, the publicity committee, the auditorium arrangements committee and so forth.

The re-awakening on-interest on the part of church members is reckoned by many to be one of the most important accomplishments of the Crusade.

7. Is the Crusade open to all who wish to attend?

There is never a restriction as to race, color or creed. The doors to the meetings are always open to anyone who may care to attend. No-one will be embarrassed, but each one will be aware that this could be his time of decision for Christ.

The standing together, shoulder to shoulder, with fellow Christians from many denominations in the work of the Crusade is one of the most heart-warming experiences in the life of those who share in the various tasks. There is never any attempt to promote disharmony, but always a strong emphasis on the positive message.

8. How is the Crusade organized on an administrative basis?

The actual administration of the Crusade is carried on by the Executive Committee, twenty men divided almost equally between prominent Christian laymen and ministers. Working very closely with the Executive Committee are administrative members of the Billy Graham organization.

9. A venture like this must involve considerable expense; very frankly, what will the Crusade cost?

The total operating budget for the Crusade has been established at $900,000, covering the actual operating costs during the time of preparation and during the first 6 ½ weeks of the Crusade, and including the follow-up expenses of the Crusade. The budget was established by the Executive Committee working in close cooperation with the members of the administrative staff of the Billy Graham organization who have had experience in previous city-wide Crusades.

In addition to the operating budget, the opportunity to extend the message of the Crusade literally to all America has presented itself in the form of a proposed coast-to-coast TV program, costing approximately $400,000 additional, thus making the total amount- be raised f or the Crusade $1,300,000.

10. Some of the items seem quite large: office operation, advertising, auditorium rental.

Office Operation - $105,000. A large office was opened on May 1, 1956, so that a basic figure here will include the rental for more than one year in central Manhattan. There are salaries of approximately 25 local staff employees included, postage, printing, office equipment and so forth. Every economy has been exercised in operating the office with the early regulation established that three competitive bids be received for every sizeable item purchased.

Auditorium and Stadia Rental - $360,000. The rent for Madison Square Garden approximates something between five and six thousand dollars per night. It is suggested that the Crusade may use outdoor stadia for week-end meetings, and this will result in higher expenses for those larger meetings.

Advertising and Publicity - $255,000. It is a tremendous undertaking to reach the vast metropolitan area of New York with enough of an impact to rouse the man in the street from his lethargy concerning religion. Advertising costs are high. For example, a representative display of billboards in the area will cost approximately $48,500 for the Crusade. Newspaper advertising, radio and TV costs are also high, and yet every means to spread the influence of the Crusade must be undertaken.

11. What are the financial stipulations of the Billy Graham Team?

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Team has certain definite financial stipulations which they always ask to be followed in the handling of finances for any Crusade. The salient points are:

    1. The budget for a local Crusade should be established by the local Committee.

    2. All the money for the expense budget is raised by the local Committee and is dispensed by them.

    3. Not one penny of salary or honorarium goes to Billy Graham or any member of his Team. For their services in the Crusade they receive only a nominal amount established by the Executive Committee, to reimburse them for actual living expenses and for the travel to and from New York City.

    4. At the conclusion of the Crusade a certified Public accountant will audit the books and that provided for every participating minister. The firm of Price Waterhouse has been engaged as the official auditors for the New York Crusade.

12. How is it proposed to raise the money for this budget?

The largest single source of income for the Crusade will be the offerings collected at the meetings each night, and it is estimated that approximately $250,000 will be received from this source. The balance of approximately $1,000,000 must come from individuals and organizations sympathetic towards the purposes of the Crusade.

13. What happens if the budget is over-subscribed?

Upon mutual agreement of members of the Executive Committee the disposition of such amounts will be made. For example, in Louisville, Kentucky and Richmond, Virginia, at the conclusion of the Billy Graham Crusades in those cities, there was quite a substantial amount of money remaining in the Crusade treasury and both of these cities voted to send that money along to the New York City Crusade to share in the expenses of getting this Crusade under way. The decision was made by the unanimous vote of the Executive Committee in each of those cities.

It should also be noted that if the Crusade is continued beyond the basic 6 ½ week period additional costs will necessarily arise, and there is also the possibility of the enlarged scope of the Crusade through new opportunities presenting themselves.

14. Are there any measurable, permanent effects of such a Crusade?

Aside from the actual statistical record of thousands of individuals whose lives are changed for the better because of being brought into a personal relationship with God, there is the broader effect of the strengthened Church in the community and the increased awareness on the part of the unchurched in the community that the Christian message is relevant for our time.

15. What steps are taken to follow-up the immediate results of such a Crusade?

From the moment that an individual responds to Dr. Graham's invitation at the conclusion of his sermon and makes a "decision for Christ.." that individual is brought into close contact with a trained counsellor. This counsellor will accompany him to the counselling room and there, with open Bible, will attempt to meet his needs by answering his problem and committing the entire situation to God in prayer.

Following that, a mature advisor will check with the counsellor to determine if the individual’s personal needs have been met.

Within 24 hours the pastor of the church of the individual's choice, where he is already a member or where he would normally attend, or in which he is particularly interested, will receive a copy of his "decision card" with a letter requesting that the pastor immediately contact the individual and then return a postage paid card to the Crusade office indicating that he has indeed contacted the individual and is attempting to bring him into the closer work and fellowship of the local church. The counsellor must also contact the individual, either by telephone or in person, to see if he has any further needs or problems.

A series of letters will be sent to him from the Crusade office encouraging him in his new step and urging him to make certain that the following rules have been applied to his life: 1) That he pray daily; 2) That he read his Bible daily; 3) That he witness to others around him concerning his new faith; 4) That he find his place in the work and fellowship of his local church. Every attempt is made to encourage the individual into the paths of Bible study, personal devotion and effective work in the local church. The thousands of counsellors who have been trained will share in the additional responsibility of the extensive follow-up work of the Crusade. The great burden of follow-up, however, must rest upon the local churches, committee members and individuals who have volunteered for this important work, but it will be the function of the Crusade to offer every assistance in meeting those goals.

16. How should money be given toward the Crusade budget?

The Crusade office is located at 165 West 46th Street, New York 36P New York. Contributions toward the budget can be made by mail and the envelope should bear the notation "Finance Committee." An official receipt -will be provided immediately. Every contribution toward the Billy Graham New York Crusade is deductible for income tax purposes. A phone call to bliss Ruth Campbell in the Crusade financial office, Judson 2-1790, will bring full details to anyone who would desire them. In every instance, checks should be made payable to "The Billy Graham New York Crusade, Inc."

© 2005 Wheaton College and © 2005 BGEA