How Pastors’ Pleas Brought Billy Graham to South America

By   •   January 20, 2022

Billy Graham on stage in Rio de Janeiro
In 1962, Billy Graham spent nine weeks taking the Gospel across South America. The evangelistic tour was broken into two parts: five weeks in January and February, and four weeks in September and October.
Billy Graham arriving on plane
These extensive tours were the result of letters from South American pastors who urged the evangelist to visit as soon as possible. Here, Billy Graham is greeted warmly in São Paulo, Brazil—where the second stretch of the Crusades began.
Billy Graham Crusade advertisement
“I’ve reached the age where it is no longer easy to leave my family for weeks at a time,” a 43-year-old Billy Graham said before making the journey across the ocean. “We believe that the Lord has mysteriously and wondrously led us to South America at this time.”
crowd at Estadio Luna Park
By the end of the year, more than 820,000 people heard the Gospel across the continent. Here, Argentinians pack Estadio Luna Park, a multipurpose arena in Buenos Aires.
Billy Graham meets people
“Everywhere we went, we sensed a deep spiritual hunger and a yearning for a personal relationship with Christ. We came away committed to further ministry there,” Billy Graham wrote in his autobiography, Just As I Am.
Billy Graham and Alfredo Stroessner
The evangelist met with everyday people and world leaders, including Alfredo Stroessner, who served as president of Paraguay from 1954–1989.
Billy Graham TV interview
Listen to Billy Graham explain the state of affairs in South America before the second leg of his evangelistic tour, which took him to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.
Billy Graham Crusade advertisements
Signs advertise the Crusade meetings in São Paulo, Brazil.
Crusade crowd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
While in Brazil, Billy Graham also preached at this picturesque stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Billy Graham with arms raised
This banner quotes the Bible verse, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
South American children
South Americans of all ages heard about a Savior who knows and loves them.
Billy Graham in Paraguay
Despite rain, Billy Graham received a cheery welcome in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay.
Billy Graham preaches in Uruguay
The evangelist also preached in Uruguay’s capital of Montevideo. The country’s flag is seen hanging from the podium.
altar call in Lima, Peru
Thousands made decisions for Christ during the 1962 South America Crusades, including those who walked forward at this event in Lima, Peru.
Billy Graham on stage
This summer, Franklin Graham plans to preach the Gospel message in South America. Find out more information about his one-day Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.