How 500,000 Africans Heard the Gospel in 1960

By   •   January 10, 2022

Billy Graham with African tribe
Just after the calendar flipped to 1960, Billy Graham held his first evangelistic events in Africa. He preached in countries across the continent, including Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, the Congo, Kenya and Ethiopia.
crowd in Nigeria
Half a million people attended the 1960 African Crusade, and thousands responded to the message with questions or a commitment to Christ.
Billy Graham
From fields to stadiums, the news of salvation through Jesus Christ was the same.
Billy Graham holding young child
Billy Graham arrived on the continent on January 19, 1960. When his airplane touched down in Liberia, one of the plane’s motor’s started spurting dark smoke. “As we landed, I wondered if it might be the last stop I would ever make,” he recounted in his autobiography. “The combustion, I was happy to see, subsided before we reached the terminal.”
Billy Graham at microphone
The first events of the multi-week tour were held January 21-22 in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia.
Billy Graham shaking hands with man
Liberia’s president and vice president supported the meetings, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) team stayed at the government’s official guest house.
Billy Graham at podium
From January 30 to February 12, Billy Graham preached in five cities throughout Nigeria.
stadium in Enugu, Nigeria
An estimated 40,000 people attended his meetings in Enugu, Nigeria.
Billy Graham under straw hut
In the days before the Crusade meetings, associate BGEA evangelists led meetings in surrounding towns to spread the word.
Billy Graham preaching to crowd in Nigeria
“This approach created buzz and inspired people to invite their friends to the larger Crusade, which took place a few days later,” explained Howard Jones, who worked closely with Billy Graham during the 1960 African outreach.
Billy Graham shaking hands with Kenyan
On March 1, Billy Graham held a one-day Crusade in the port city of Kisumu, Kenya.
Billy Graham playing with kids
In between events, the 41-year-old evangelist connected with Africans of all ages.
Billy Graham talking with man
“Whether the story of Christ is told in a huge stadium, across the desk of a powerful leader, or shared with a golfing companion, it satisfies a common hunger. All over the world, whenever I meet people face-to-face, I am made aware of this personal need among the famous and successful, as well as the lonely and obscure.” —Billy Graham
Billy Graham smiling
In total, Billy Graham preached in 11 African countries during the 1960 tour.
Billy Graham leaning down to child
One Ghanan child (not pictured) was too young to remember the Crusade events, but he’s convinced the events changed the course of his entire family’s life. >>Read the story.
Billy Graham holding hands with children
“I left Africa with a prayer of deep gratitude for the faith and sacrifice of those who had gone before us, bringing the light of the Gospel to one of the world’s largest continents. We were only following a trail others had blazed.” —Billy Graham