If Billy Graham ever wins official appointment as ambassador-at-large, he will have earned it. Few Americans have built as much good will abroad as the 49-year-old North Carolinian. For more than two decades now he has been traveling the globe, preaching the Gospel. For his country, the happy byproduct has been the building of friendships and a balancing corrective to the stream of ugly American images peddled by Hollywood.

The month of April found Graham and his team greeting old friends and making new ones from among the twelve million people of Australia. The heart of the month-long Australia evangelistic effort was a nine-day crusade in Sydney, commercial hub of all Southeast Asia.

And Sydney responded warmly. There was an opening night crowd of 38,000, followed by a Sunday afternoon turnout of 60,000. These two services drew a total of 4,232 spiritual inquirers. The aggregate attendance for the first six services was about 200,000, with nearly 10,000 recorded decisions.

Three of the nine services were geared to youth. And on the first youth night, more than 10 per cent of the audience responded to the invitation.

Graham made humanity look very bad. “It seems our whole world is gone insane,” he said. “We are a dying human race because of sin.” But the evangelist held out the Cross as the sure hope and the only lasting solution to the problems of war and race. And in Christ, he said, lies the answer to the need for personal fulfillment.

Another Martin

The day Martin Luther King was buried, many San Francisco bus drivers didn’t want to work. An overtime replacement on the Hunters Point run, white driver Martin Whitted, 28, was robbed and shot to death by four Negro youths.

Amid rising public outbursts of rage with inflammatory racial overtones, his widow, Dixie, mother of three, went on TV to ask that memorial gifts be sent to their church, St. Mark’s Lutheran, for Hunters Point youth programs so “something for them” would come from his death. More than $5,000 poured in, and her Christian witness was widely heralded for defusing racial tensions. The Chronicle called it “an act of hope for the city.” gelist held out the Cross as the sure hope and the only lasting solution to the problems of war and race. And in Christ, he said, lies the answer to the need for personal fulfillment.

The message—clear and simple—was essentially unchanged from the sermons Graham preached during his 1959 Australia crusade. Yet it found a flood of new response, especially among youth.

Ideal weather conditions helped get the outdoor meetings off to a good start. The Sunday afternoon service was held under cloudless skies with a temperature in the high 70s. The breeze off the blue Pacific tempered the effects of the bright sun. But by Monday night the weather had turned into what residents called “winter wind,” and the great profusion of miniskirted teen-agers wrapped themselves in blankets. It is currently autumn down under. Like Florida, the eastern Australia coast rarely hits the freezing point. Taking advantage of one of the better days, Graham shot his best round of golf at the Royal Sydney Course: a one over par thirty-seven for nine holes.

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The crusade was held at the Sydney Showground, a stadium that makes up in size what it lacks in beauty. Larger than major-league ball parks, it is part of a fairgrounds type of complex that hosts the annual ten-day Royal Easter Show, an agricultural exhibition that this year drew a million and a half people. Graham spoke from a canopied platform ringed by tropical plants.

In addition to the mass meetings, the Graham organization conducted a School of Evangelism in Sydney as part of the crusade, plus daily noon Bible exposition by Graham associate Roy Gustafson. The effects of the mass meetings were augmented by relays to 131 outlying points. A film of the opening service was shown on local television and subsequently in Melbourne, Australia’s number-two city. The audience included American servicemen on rest and rehabilitation from Viet Nam.

Antagonism to the crusade was minimal. Eighteen posters with Graham’s picture were defaced, including one in front of the Anglican cathedral in which Graham was made to look like Hitler. Police investigated, but there were no clues.

One Methodist clergyman publicly attacked Graham for “primitive emphasis on blood.” By contrast, Roman Catholic Cardinal Norman Gilroy invited Graham to a friendly tea. One Catholic church lent its bus to a Protestant congregation to transport people to the crusade.

The Sydney crusade, conducted with a budget of $200,000, was said to have the support of more local churches than any other crusade Graham has held in the British Commonwealth. This is partly because Sydney is an evangelical stronghold. Anglicans, who dominate the city’s religious spectrum, are led by Archbishop Marcus Loane, outspokenly biblical and president of the crusade executive committee (see April 12 issue, page 42).

But the whole Australian posture of friendship toward the United States may also play a part. Australia and America have been holding hands across the Pacific for a long time. In recent years they have become even friendlier. As Britain pulls out of Asia, Australia more and more comes under obvious American cultural influence. Australia assembles cars reflecting more of Detroit than of Europe. Two years ago she switched her money from the pound to the dollar decimal system. Coffee is strongly challenging tea.

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Australia’s new Prime Minister John Grey Gorton is a strong anti-Communist and a great friend of the United States. His wife was born in Maine. He was understandably annoyed, however, when he was not consulted before the announced de-escalation in Viet Nam.

Although America and Australia are separated by half a world, they do have the Pacific Ocean in common. And no country has shown more interest in Australian security than the United States.

For his part, Graham has done Australia the good turn of reminding their citizens dramatically of their need of spiritual security. Australian Christians—busy, prosperous, and pleasure-bent—face a great opportunity. Ringing their northern borders is the neediest and most populated portion of the earth: a billion and a half people, many poor, illiterate, and without the Gospel.


Diesel millionaire J. Irwin Miller, former president of the National Council of Churches, was on the road last month as chairman of a committee to develop enough support—fast—to draw Nelson Rockefeller into the presidential race. Meanwhile Editor B. J. Stiles of the University Christian Movement magazine motive, who endorsed Robert F. Kennedy in the February issue, went on leave to join RFK’s campaign staff.

Senator Robert F. Kennedy said he took communion at a Washington, D.C., Negro Baptist church recently as a “gesture of fellowship,” not as a sacrament. The Vatican last year said Catholics may attend Protestant services but may not receive the Eucharist.

The Rev. William Starr, Episcopal chaplain at Columbia University, testified against expulsion of Barnard junior Linda LeClair, who has been cohabiting with another student, Peter Behr. Of housing rules, Starr said, “If they are an impediment, they are ridiculous.”

Episcopal Bishop Paul Moore, Jr., of Washington, D. C., has gone on leave to be director of Operation Connection, which seeks $10 million to build political and economic power for the poor. The Rev. Albert Cleage, militant black nationalist, is a leader of the campaign.

Asbury College’s board confirmed by 18–9 the ouster of President Karl K. Wilson at a controversial previous meeting, but praised Wilson’s integrity and character. The statement noted “unfortunate disunity” among faculty, students, and alumni during the furor.

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Former Southern Baptist pastor Dupree Jordan, Jr., has been named by the war on poverty to enlist religious activity. Canada’s foreign-affairs ministry appointed Catholic priest Harold Oxley to develop liaison with churches and private agencies working in developing nations.

The Rev. M. L. Wilson, head of the National Committee of Negro Churchmen, was elected board chairman of the Protestant Council in New York City, succeeding labor leader A. Philip Randolph.

Joseph L. Bernardin, 40, auxiliary bishop to the late Paul Hallinan of Atlanta for two years, was approved as a chief executive of the U. S. Catholic Conference by the Vatican.

William R. MacKaye, 33, of the Washington Post, won this year’s award from the Religious Newswriters’ Association. The Post’s other religion specialist, Kenneth Dole, won the 1956 award. RNA chose Jack Hume of the Cleveland Press as its new president.


The 1968 Catholic Directory reports a baptized membership of 47,468,333, an increase of 603,423.

Because of possible future riots, Baptists have been denied a permit for a public march and rally at their October Continental Congress on Evangelism in Washington, D. C.

The Episcopal Church plans to hold the second special convention in its history next year at Notre Dame University.

Episcopalians are planning a liberal-arts campus as a satellite of Baptist-related Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

Often reticent, members from fifty of Italy’s eighty Baptist churches took to the town piazzas for one-week crusades in five regions, resulting in many decisions for Christ and new evangelistic zeal.


Memphis garbagemen won most of their demands in a strike settlement two weeks after the murder there of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was aiding strikers.

The top leaders of the National Council of Churches, U. S. Catholic Conference, Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops, and Synagogue Council of America joined in an unprecedented Easter Sunday appeal for a $10 to $12 billion program to aid the poor. “Only through massive contributions,” they said, can the nation “duly honor the life-offering of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

An extensive Citizens Crusade Against Poverty study, which had Episcopal and United Presbyterian aid, charged that at least ten million Americans are going hungry, and urged reform of federal food-distribution programs.

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At a Yankee Stadium ceremony, former star Bobby Richardson was presented the ten millionth copy of the American Bible Society’s Good News for Modern Man translation.

Dean Elmer Usher of the Episcopal cathedral in Phoenix is suing the Arizona Republic for $600,000 over a news article that said he pushed a camera into the face of a photographer at a court hearing.

At a Princeton theological meeting, British Bishop John A. T. Robinson suggested that in a “religionless age,” bishops should be recruited, through advertising, from “prophetically minded” secular executives.

A Harris poll shows 55 per cent of U. S. whites and 32 per cent of U. S. Negroes have guns in their homes.

A Negro Baptist church near Meridian, Mississippi, that had previously been hit twice by arsonists burned to the ground early Easter Sunday.

Religious contributions made up 46.9 per cent of the nation’s $14.5 billion in giving last year, reports the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel.

Pravda called for abolition of the Soviet Union’s traditional Easter and praised an “atheist missionary ship” that cruises rivers in a province north of Moscow.

The Roman Catholic weekly in Camden, New Jersey, proposed Vatican City as the site for peace talks between the United States and North Viet Nam.

The 1968 U. S. Post Office Christmas stamp will be a five-color reproduction of “The Annunciation” by Jan Van Eyck.

Argentina has denied long-term visas to 200 U. S. Mormon missionaries, though none had been expelled as of mid-April. Some Protestants fear an eventual ban on all new missionaries.

India’s policy of nationalizing Christian missions will mean expulsion of foreigners whose presence “is considered prejudicial to national interests,” the home minister said. Those with special training may stay unless Indians can fill their jobs.

After years of hostility, the Sudan is open to Roman Catholic missionaries from Tanzania and has permitted a Catholic periodical to reopen. For the first time, Sudanese Christian and Muslim leaders conferred recently.


“Faithless people are as old as the family of man. This is not a day of death. This is a day of triumph. This is Easter morning, and one of these days all of God’s children are going to get up. We’re not serving a dead God. I’m not serving a dead God. You tell me about a dead God after all I’ve gone through this past week. He’s got me standing up here. Then don’t tell me God is asleep.”—The Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., in his Easter sermon.


NORMAN J. BAUGHER, 50, fourth-generation minister in the Church of the Brethren and its top administrator since 1952; in Elgin, Illinois, of a heart attack.

GUY EMERY SHIPLER, 86, editor of the Churchman, unofficial Episcopal monthly, for forty-five years; champion of liberal causes and critic of Catholicism; in Arcadia, California, of a stroke.

ENRIQUE PEREZ SERANTES, 85, Cuban archbishop who once saved Fidel Castro’s life but later became an arch-foe of his regime; in Santiago, Cuba.

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