Relaymedia

Graham’s Milestone Moment Settling Down in New York

More than any other religious figure, Rev. Graham is someone who people identify as the spokesman for the American evangelical movement.
( [email protected] ) Jun 28, 2005 02:36 AM EDT

More than any other religious figure, Rev. Graham is someone who people identify as the spokesman for the American evangelical movement. In sweltering New York heat, the event, "Greater New York Billy Graham Crusade," wrapped up with a ominous feeling of the same message but changed to fit the current moment.

Although Billy Graham had no intention of saying that this was his last revival, many treated this final gathering in New York, as if it was.

The ever-enduring Billy Graham told reporters, on the subject of whether he would preach again, "I never say never, [because] never is a bad word." Rev. Graham believes that God is the one who controls everything that happens, and replied, "we never know."

However, due to Rev. Graham's ailments and even his own feelings toward the coming hour of death, which he emphasized on in one of his sermons in this past revival, many believe that this was his finale in New York, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Taking a glance at his own advanced age, he responded, "I know it won't be long."

Graham's biographer, sociologist William Martin, expected a predominantly white-turnout, but was shocked to find a rather diverse group of people. Then, he recalled who Billy Graham was and what he meant to the people; Billy Graham was someone who took it upon himself to end racially segregated lines at his 1953 crusade in the South, even before the Supreme Court could rule on integration.

"There he took the ropes down. And now all the barriers seem to be down."

For this event, Rev. Graham didn't want to preach about anything other than the gospel, but he let his messages relate to the current issues. In one sermon, he preached "Jesus Christ said, as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be." With conviction, he responded to this verse by saying, "When the situation in the world gets the way it was in Noah's day, you can look up and know that Jesus is close to coming."

Out of 140,000 attendants, a record of about 5,500 people went forward to commit their lives to Christ according to the personnel at this revival for Friday and Saturday.

Near the end of the revival, Graham called his colleagues to the stage to receive their applause, as a heart-warming gesture of gratitude, and very eloquently said, "they put up with me. Sixty years we’ve been together."

Over 230,000 people attended this three-day crusade.