Billy Graham Center


Christmas in Korea - 1952

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Timeline of Billy Graham's 1952 Visit to South Korea


Late October 1952

Billy Graham begins praying about a Christmas trip to Korea, partly in response to invitations from missionaries, chaplains, and Korean pastors, to visit American troops as well as churches and mission stations.

December 2

Receives permission from U.S. Army to visit the American troops in Korea for a Christmas visit.

December 5

Flies out of Los Angeles, California, at midnight.

Graham was joined on his trip by his associate evangelist and friend, Grady Wilson; Bob Pierce, also a friend, and as the founder of World Vision, someone who had been to Korea several times and was deeply involved in humanitarian work there; Ray Provost, who at that time was enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary in the United States but who had been a missionary to Korea in 1951 and was very familiar with the refugee situation there; and David Morken, director of Youth for Christ's activities in the East Asia. They were also accompanied in Korea by Sam Sullivan of the Associated Press Service and R. L. Calf of the United Press Service.

December 6

Arrives in Honolulu Hawaii.

December 7

After broadcasting his weekly Hour of Decision radio program, flies out of Hawaii to Tokyo, Japan, via Wake Island. While in Japan over the next week, Graham meets with Prince Mikasa, brother of the Emperor, speaks at a banquet for 750 missionaries to Japan, visits American soldiers at Tokyo General Hospital and Yukosuka Air and Naval bases, and meets with American chaplains and military commanders, including Mark Clark. Grady Wilson presents Mr. Texas, the first film of Billy Graham Evangelistic Films, to a large crowd.

December 14

After broadcasting the Hour of Decision program, flies out of Tokyo to Pusan, South Korea. Holds first service in USA Theater for U.S. military.

December 15

Visits the Tabitha House For War Widows and Orphans, attends a military briefing at the invitation of the chief of the Korean base section. In the evening holds the first of several nightly evangelistic services in the open air. Every service attended by thousands of Koreans and American solders (GIs). Rev. Kyung-Chik Han of the Young Nak Presbyterian Church of Seoul serves as translator. Also preached daily in the USA Theater.

December 16

Visits evacuation hospital for wounded military personnel, Pusan Charity School Hospital for children.

December 17

Held outdoor service attended by about 6,000 people. In attendance was the vice president of the country, Han Tai Young.

December 18

During the day visits the Oriental Missionary Seminary. Holds last service in Pusan for about 8,000 people near Chung Moo Ro Park. After the service, Graham preaches at another meeting for 20 South African soldiers who had arrived too late for the main service.

December 19

Travels by train to Taegu, where Graham and his party visit missionary orphanages and hospitals and hold an evening evangelistic meeting.

December 20

Travels by train to Seoul and preaches at Young Nak Church, Rev. Han translating.

December 21

Broadcasts a program for Graham's Hour of Decision radio program, with testimonies from several GIs. Preaches at the Eighth Army chapel service, attended by commanding general James Van Fleet. Later has dinner with Van Fleet.

December 22

Visits the Danish hospital ship Jutlandia to talk with wounded soldiers.

December 23

First visit to troops at front line, preaches at Young Nak Presbyterian Church in the evening. Records message for the December 28 broadcast of the Hour of Decision.

December 24

Hosts luncheon for missionaries in Seoul. Visits frontline troops and holds services. Meets with Syngman Rhee, president of the Republic of Korea.

December 25

Holds Christmas service near front lines and has dinner with troops. Flies back to Pusan and from there to Tokyo, Japan.

December 26

Arrives in Tokyo.

December 27

Flies to Formosa (Taiwan).

December 29

Meets with Chiang Kai-shek, president of the Republic of China, leads evangelistic evening service in Taipei.

December 30

Flies to Hong Kong.

December 31

Flies from Hong Kong to Honolulu, Hawaii. Spends week recovering from a bout of influenza.

January 9

Graham flies back to Los Angeles, California.

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Last Revised: 12/1/12
Expiration: indefinite

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