A Gathering of Souls: The Billy Graham Crusades
This documentary was produced by the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College through a grant from the Lilly Endowment.
The program features interviews with noted scholars, Grant Wacker, Joel Carpenter, Edith Blumhoffer, Uta Balbier, Darren Dochuk, Andrew Finstuen, and those closely associated with the story including John Akers, Luis Palau, Fred Brooks, Wallace Alcorn, Samuel Douglas Faircloth, Gene Smillie, Richard Gieser, Ruth Dyneka Erdel and others.
Between 1947 and 2005, Billy Graham preached to more than 200 million people across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Millions more watched live on television and listened in on radio. Known as "Crusades" the gatherings in stadiums, sport arenas and large, open-air parks, represented the tip of an organizational iceberg that took years of planning before and months of follow-up after the events took place.
The crusades shaped the face of evangelical Christianity in the 20th century, served as a catalyst for numerous para-church organizations, influenced global ecumenical efforts and altered the course of untold individual lives.
Billy Graham first came to prominence in the mid 1940's after graduating from Wheaton College outside Chicago. While serving as the pastor of a small, suburban church, Graham achieved initial success through the burgeoning Youth For Christ movement.
Graham became the organizations first paid employee and spoke in rallies throughout North America and Europe. During a brief experience as a college president at Northwestern College in Minnesota, Graham launched into a full-time ministry as an evangelist. He quickly drew together a team, the core of which, worked with Graham through duration of his ministry.
Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois