a billy graham center archives exhibit
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Graham stepped up to the podium on May 15 to address 18,000 people and the crusade was under way.
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"The gospel came to Madison Square Garden last night." Lead from a front page article entitled “Billy Graham Opens His Crusade Here,” in the New York Times newspaper, May 16, 1957. From the Archives Clipping file, May 1957, folder 3.

 There was a pre-crusade prayer meeting at 7pm in the basement prayer room. The service began at 7:30pm. The first service established the format that all would basically follow, the common format for a Billy Graham crusade service.
  • Rev. Cliff Barrows acted as master of ceremonies and choir director
  • Hymn sung by all: "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name"
  • Scripture read by Rev. Grady Wilson
  • Prayer by Rev. Philip E. Elliot
  • Solo by George Beverly Shea
  • Choir: "How Great Thou Art"
  • Words of welcome committee chairman Roger Hull
  • Response by Rev. Billy Graham
  • Song by the choir
  • Announcements by Rev. Cliff Barrows
  • Prayer by Rev. Richard Hildebrand
  • Offering taken
  • Hymn sung by the congregation
  • Solo by George Beverly Shea
  • Sermon by Billy Graham
  • Invitations for inquirers to come forward and meet with counselors
  • Benediction by Rev. John S. Wimbish
Click below for items on First Day
item 113: from Collection 7, box 4, folder 28
item 42: from Collection 16, New York City Crusade, 1957, procedure book IV
item 43: from Collection 1, box 1, folder 46
New York clipping
Crusade News
Text of first sermon
item 44: from Collection 26, audio tapes T353 and T354
Audio of first service
© 2005 Wheaton College and © 2005 BGEA