Graham Breaks Attendance Mark

Evangelist Billy Graham broke Bruce Springsteen's attendance record at New Jersey's Meadowlands Sports Complex during his five-day crusade that emphasized both commitment to Christ and social service.

The evangelist's first-ever crusade in the Garden State, which ended last Saturday, featured crowds that averaged 21,200 nightly. The Friday night crowd of 31,300 was 10,000 above the arena attendance record that had been set by a 1984 Springsteen concert.

Graham urged the audience to go out of their way to meet and make friends with someone from a different race. "I didn't ask to be born white," he said on one occasion. "You didn't ask to be born black or brown or whatever color skin you have. You were made in the image of God. God created you and God has a purpose for you and he loves you--whoever you are."

The evangelist also called on Christians to demonstrate their love by helping others in practical ways. "We should counsel the depressed, the suicidal, drug users and people with AIDS," he said. "These are social responsibilities that no true believer can escape. Jesus also wants us to teach people to read and write."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World