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Audio clip from an oral history interview of Ruby Reisdorph in which she talks about the impressions of herself and her husband Rufus of the meeting in Times Square on September 1, 1957. They were later missionaries in the Philippines. She was interviewed by Dr. Lois Ferm of the BGEA on February 9, 1979. 4 minutes.
item 89: from Collection 141, audio tape T102 and box 14, folder 11REISDORPH: And the closing service I shall never forget. If I may just speak of it?

FERM: Yes, of course.

REISDORPH: It was held on Times Square. We went out early because my husband wanted to see the effect of a service like that on the throngs. We hardly were prepared for what we saw. Everything was geared with excitement which reigned all over in that area. Where it seemed like all New York City had come. I know there came bold headlines out in the paper: "Coney Island Deserted." Many, many people flocked to that meeting. It looked like a sea of people in every direction. And we tried to stay in the outer fringes to see the effect of that service. Billy Graham brought a very remarkable message. I spoke to his secretary at the close of the service and told her how I'd appreciated that message which was so Bible centered. And she said, "Strangely enough, he came to these cross roads this morning to get the inspiration for his message." She told me that held gotten them from the signs in the area. The first was the Ten Commandments. One of the theaters was running the Ten Commandments. That theater tried to buy Mr. Graham. They promised to build his platform; to move his choir and do everything to save him the labor and the labor of the staff. But Billy Graham could not be bought. But he used these theatrical signs as points in his message. It was amazing to see the tremendous interest that that sea of people had in that earnest Gospel message. During the preliminaries we saw kind of a point of excitement. One of our parties stepped over to see what the excitement was about just about the time a mounted policeman came along and escorted an usher out of the scene. What had happened was the older man, the usher, had pulled out a cigarette and was going to light it when a young man with the usher tag pinned on him said: "Sir, you cannot do that and wear that tag." He became very indignant and said, "I can smoke if I desire." And the young man said, "You may smoke if you wish, but you won't smoke with that tag on." And so the mounted policeman came and defended the young man in his claims and then strode away with the older man. I don't know what he did with him, but I know this: he made his decision in favor of the honor of that occasion for it was a Christ-centered occasion. A very tremendous memory that service will always be with me. We have contacted Mr. Graham in other parts. In fact, we were in his home once and saw the place where the famous prayer meeting took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mrs. Graham was entertaining about forty women in her living room and Mr. Graham with about forty men, laymen, in that prayer meeting was praying that God would visit Charlotte and the world with a gracious revival. I was so desirous of seeing it with this explanation that I'd just given you where Mr. and Mrs. Graham gave us that day. And then out of that meeting with Mr. Mordecai Ham, came the conversion of Grady Wilson and Billy Graham. So that is a very remarkable commendation on the power of prayer and the desire to see evangelism with its fervency as Christ intended that it should be.

FERM: Then you became missionaries in fact. Did it differ from your concept of missions when you actually were on the field and had to live like the missionary?

REISDORPH: It did. I think one of the things that you're impressed with as you go from field to field, is the lack of some things. One of the essential lacks is the lack of sanitation. Now that is improving currently but it has not been remedied in all those countries of the world. When we reached these fields we told the superintendents we did not come for a vacation. We want you to get us back into the interior and know the pulse of mission. We want to live-it like you live it. So they took us at our word and we were given to see some pretty extreme situations back in the interior but we wouldn't take anything for what we experienced

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