New Hour of Decision Online with Cliff Barrows Reaches 50 Countries

By   •   August 11, 2014

Cliff Barrows and Billy Graham
The Hour of Decision radio program, which began in 1950 and features Cliff Barrows and Billy Graham, is now available online.

“Welcome to the Hour of Decision Online. I’m Cliff Barrows.”

Every week since the beginning of May, the familiar voice of Billy Graham’s longtime music leader and emcee has greeted listeners to a new, web-exclusive program that’s garnering clicks from 50 countries on six continents.

Hour of Decision Online offers a Gospel-centered message of hope from Billy Graham, peppered with Cliff Barrows’ personal stories from 65 years of ministry with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Like the time in 1983 when rock band AC/DC performed at the Tacoma Dome a few days before a Billy Graham Crusade was to be held there, and an overzealous fan fired a rocket through the wooden roof.

cliffann
Cliff Barrows along with his wife Ann use an iPad during their daily devotion time.

“There was a hole in the roof,” Cliff Barrows recalled in a recent edition of Hour of Decision Online. “And that’s how we went into the building. A lot of people came to see what kind of damage was done.”

In his typically understated, good-humored way, he continued, “Well, it added to the interest, to say the least.”

In another recent webcast, Mr. Barrows shared memories from the 1982 Crusade in Boston. More than 130,000 people heard the Gospel over the course of a week, despite some less-than-ideal weather conditions.

“It was so wet and cold,” Barrows said. “In fact, there was one thing we’d never had before. We couldn’t take the covers off either the piano or the organ for an entire service. So we went without any organ or instrument accompaniment, and that was a challenge for us because we had to sing a cappella.

“They didn’t like that from me, I’m sure,” he added with a chuckle.

Those are the kinds of stories only Cliff Barrows can tell, and he shares them as though he’s just chatting with an old friend.

“Cliff’s gift of telling a story and his recall of detail brings a richness to each Hour of Decision Online,” said Jim Kirkland, director of radio for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

“He was not only a partner-in-ministry with Mr. Graham, they’re close friends to this day,” Kirkland said. “He knew well George Beverly Shea and many of the Crusade guests—from Johnny Cash to Ethel Waters to President George Bush. Cliff had access no one else had.”

There’s no shortage of personalities in the growing medium of the webcast. Not many of them, however, are old enough to remember the Great Depression.

At age 91, Cliff Barrows is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to the digital world. He and his wife, Ann, use an iPad during their daily devotion time. They joined Twitter before it was cool. And they understand the power of the Internet to help reach people with the Gospel.

Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows in 1960
Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows record “The Hour of Decision” radio program at the pyramids in Egypt in 1960. More than 50 years later, they can still be heard preaching the Gospel through “Hour of Decision Online.” The reach of the Internet allows the message of hope to touch countries as far away as Egypt and beyond.

After gracing the radio airwaves for more than six decades, Mr. Barrows was excited to join Hour of Decision Online co-host Bob Souer for the new, digital endeavor.

The web format eliminates the strict time constraints of live radio and allows for more stories, more music and more time to share the Gospel—three things that bring delight to the hosts and their listeners.

“When you listen to Cliff tell a story, you hear pure joy,” Kirkland said. “Not so much for his memories of the Crusades, but for how God worked through the Crusades to impact people eternally.”

Listen to the latest Hour of Decision Online. A new program is available every Sunday, and each program remains posted for five weeks.

Hour of Decision Online is also available on BGEA’s mobile app. Just download the app and select “Radio” at the bottom.

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16 Comments

  1. Lyn Parish says:

    So glad that this is another form of keeping in touch with the greatest Christian evangelistic team. Very excited.

  2. James E. Wikstrom says:

    It was a such blessing to be under Cliff’s direction and leading of the Billy Graham Crusade Choir during the Chicago Crusade in the early 60′s. How well do I remember to the Glory of God and sang, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by memory.
    May God richly bless you as this new ministry is to take place.

  3. Patrick says:

    Dear Reverend Graham and Reverend Cliff Barrows, How wonderfully God has made you. God has made you the most sophisticated and superior technologically advanced creature on the face of the earth to be His instrument of salvation. Acts13:47

  4. Verbena June Caldwell says:

    I enjoyed reading all the comments & how he enjoyed
    his years with Billy Graham.

  5. Gordon Fredeen says:

    Mr. Barrows parents, Charlie and Harriet, were members of our church, Monte Vista Chapel, in Turlock, CA. One of my greatest regrets in life was having to decline Mr. Barrow’s invitation to be the vocalist at the memorial service for his mother following her death. She was a beautiful woman of grace who passed on to her son a tender heart. The Barrows family will always have prominent place in my childhood memories here in Turlock.

  6. Gary Clements says:

    In 1949 when Cliff was preaching in the afternoon at the LA Crusade tent meeting – I went forward & accepted Christ. I was 5 years old & it was for real! Though I “strayed” somewhat during my teens/ early 20′s – I re-committed my life to Christ at 24 – went back to Bible College – & have been in the Ministry now for the past 40+ years (Bible teacher/ Youth pastor/ Asso. Pastor/ Sr. Pastor). I can still remember those sawdust floors & talking to an older lady back in the prayer room when receiving Christ! PTL for the faithfulness of Billy/ Cliff & George for all these MANY years! I’ve always wanted to say THANKYOU to Cliff – so I’d really appreciate it if you’d share this with him! THANKS!