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April 2007: Comic Book Evangelism


From Collection 622, Box 11, Folder 8


Visual presentations of the Gospel, including comics and comic books, have a long tradition in American evangelists, as does special appeals aimed at children. Billy Graham and his associates Cliff Barrows, George Beverly Shea, and Grady Wilson participated in that tradition. Billy Graham evangelistic campaigns, even before the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was formed in 1950, usually includes at least one special meeting for children. The highlight of these meetings was Cliff Barrows dramatic and humorous presentation of a story from the Bible. These presentations were used as the basis for a series of comic books that the BGEA created in 1951-1953 for distribution at the children meetings. Above is a page from the first comic, Billy Graham with Cliff Barrows Presents the Story of Naaman the Leper (from II Kings, 5:1-19 in the Old Testament of the Bible). Later comics told the stories of Daniel in the lion's den and David versus Goliath. Although the BGEA ended the series of comics in 1953, appeals aimed and the interests and needs of children remained a part of its meetings.

Click here to see the entire comic, The Story of Naaman.

Click here to see a film clip of Cliff Barrows giving a dramatic presentation of the story of Naaman at a children's service during the BGEA 1950 evangelistic campaign in Portland, Oregon, USA. This clip came from the Mid-Century Crusade, film F104 in Collection 54. (Also see a b&w version that was shown as part of the first Hour of Decision television program, aired in June 1951, in the March 2010 Bulletin Board.)

The original comic came from Collection 622, Box 11, Folder 8, the Papers of Cliff Barrows. Click here to go to the guide of that collection.


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Last Revised: 4/01/07
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2007