Suggested Plan of Organization for a Billy Graham Crusade – Willis Haymaker

Originally from here.

I have theological reservations about Billy Graham. But I gotta give it to him, the man knew how to organize a crusade, and successfully reached millions of people.-J.B.


The most impressive way to extend an official invitation to Dr. Billy Graham for a united evangelistic crusade is to make it as all-inclusive as possible. In addition to the Ministerial Association, other Protestant religious and denominational bodies should be asked to join in the invitation. Many cities ask the Governor of the State; the U. S. Senators and Representatives; University and College Presidents; the Mayor; the newspaper, radio and television executives; leaders of industry and civic organizations to also join in the invitation. Such an invitation gives religious and civic leaders an opportunity to be vitally concerned and become a part of the crusade right from the start. Also, the wide impact of such an invitation is quite evident.


Once the invitation has been extended and accepted and the date and place of meeting have been agreed on, the next step is to set up the four main committees needed to get the organization underway.

1. The Nominating Committee

This committee is a temporary committee composed of five men, three pastors and two civic leaders, whose function will be to select the Crusade Executive Committee. Once the Executive Committee has been chosen and the consent of each person to serve his been confirmed, this committee ceases to function.

2. The Executive Committee

The members of this committee are chosen and confirmed by the Nominating Committee and will be charged with the promotion and conduct of the Crusade.
This committee should be composed of the following:

  1. A chairman
  2. A vice-chairman
  3. A secretary
  4. A treasurer (who serves as the Crusade treasurer)
  5. An assistant treasurer
  6. A chairman of finance.
  7. A chairman of the Minister Advisory Committee
  8. A legal counsel
  9. A member at Large
  10. A member at large
  11. A member at large
  12. A member at large

Since this committee is an active and working committee, it should be limited to no more than 12 members.

3. The Ministers Advisory Committee

The members of this committee are selected by the chairman who is a member of the Executive Committee, and should be composed of an outstanding pastor from the various Protestant denominations. This committee will serve as a liaison group between the Executive Committee and the participating pastors. It will be the duty of this committee to sponsor ministers meetings, such as breakfasts or luncheons, to provide various pastors to take part in the services during the crusade, and to generally be in charge of any phase of the crusade operation that directly affects the participating churches.

4. The Crusade Committee

This committee is usually composed of 100 representative Protestant church and civic leaders whose names lend confidence to the united crusade and show the wide community backing the crusade will have. This is not a working committee and may meet only once or twice during the crusade.


As soon as the Executive Committee has been officially formed, the crusade should be legally incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation and chartered under the laws of the state where it will be operating. In order to do this, four things are necessary:

  1. (1) The Corporate name must be chosen. The name most often used is “The Billy Graham (name of city) Crusade, Inc.
  2. (2) Officers must be chosen. The officers of the corporation are the members of the Executive Committee.
  3. (3) Articles of incorporation must be drawn Lip by the legal counsel and filed with the proper authorities in the state Capital. These articles contain the purposes and all the rights and privileges and procedures of the corporation.
  4. (4) An application for federal income tax exemption should then be filed by the corporation under Section 101, Sub-section 6, of the Federal Code, so that contributions to the corporation are deductible for income tax purposes.

Once the crusade is incorporated, it functions as such from then on so that all contracts and agreements are made in the name of the corporation.

Following the incorporation, a well known and respected firm of Certified Public Accountants should be chosen by the Executive Committee to set up the crusade account records and to make the final audit of all receipts and disbursements at the conclusion of the crusade.


In addition to the four main committees outlined above there are 10 other working committees as follows:
1. A Prayer Committee.
a. Women’s Division-Cottage Prayer Meetings.
b. Men’s Division-Industrial Prayer Meetings.
c. Young People’s Division-Prayer Meetings in Schools, Colleges, and Universities.
2. A Counseling Committee.
a. Counselor Training.
b. Pre-Crusade Visitation.
c. “Operation Andrew” Program.
d. Post-Crusade Visitation.
e. Follow Up.
3. A Finance Committee.
4. A Music Committee.
5. An Ushers Committee.
6. A Coliseum or Stadium Arrangements Committee.
7. A Publicity Committee.
8. A Delegations Committee
9. A Youth Activities Committee
10. A Transportation Committee.
a. Team Transportation.
b. Local or Area Transportation.
c. Inter-City Transportation.

The chairman of each of the above-named committees is selected by the Executive Committee. The personnel of the following committees will be supplied by each of the participating pastors:
1. Prayer Committee
(a) Women’s Division
(b) Men’s Division
(c) Young People’s Division
2. Counseling Committee
(a) Follow-Up Committee
(b) Visitation Committee
3. Music Committee
4. Ushers Committee
5. Youth Activities Committee

The personnel of all other crusade working committees will be selected in each case by the chairman of that particular committee.

The chairmen of all the 10 working committees become ex-officio members of the Executive Committee and can be called in at any time for progress reports.


The instructing and training of the various working committees will be tinder the direction of various members of the Billy Graham Team, working in cooperation with the Executive Committee.


A centrally located crusade office should be secured and put in operation from six months to a year prior to the start of the crusade so that the vast amount of work ill preparation for the crusade can be effectively consummated and ready when the crusade begins. The office will need to be maintained during and following the crusade until every phase of the work has been completed in a satisfactory manner.


The financial policy of all Billy Graham Crusades is set forth in detail as follows:


The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was organized in the fall of 1950 and is the sponsoring organization for the various Christian activities of Billy Graham and the Team. The Association was incorporated as a nonprofit organization under the laws of the State of Minnesota. (Offices are maintained in the City of Minneapolis.)

The affairs of the Association are administered by a Board of Directors; the finances are audited regularly by a national firm of Certified Public Accountants, and the books are available for examination at any time. Gifts to the Association are deductible for income tax purposes.


The Association serves as the organization to which all funds are directed for the support of the “Hour of Decision” on radio and television, and serves as the organization for paying all of the bills thus incurred.

At the present time, the actual cost of operating the office in Minneapolis, with the staff and clerical workers, etc., amounts to approximately 10 per cent . . . leaving 90 per cent of the gifts received as going for the direct purpose of broadcast time on radio and television.


Four points have formed the basis upon which the financial operation of the various city-wide evangelistic crusades are built:
1. The expense budget is set by the local Executive Committee in cooperation with the Crusade Director. All funds received in connection with the local crusade budget are counted, deposited and disbursed by the local Committee.
2. The raising of the crusade budget of expense is under the direction of the local Finance Committee:
(a) PRIOR TO THE CRUSADE the Finance Committee raises from one-third to one-half of the estimated budget by soliciting larger gifts from individuals, business groups and other organizations. NOTE: Churches will be given an opportunity to share in the pre-crusade financing. Such voluntary contributions from any church will be welcomed by the Crusade Finance Committee. These contributions can be made in the form of special Crusade Envelope Offerings or from the Church treasury.
(b)DURING THE CRUSADE the balance of the crusade budget of expense is raised through contributions and by taking public offerings at the place of meeting.
3. When the expense budget has been raised and sufficient funds are in hand to meet any unforeseen contingencies, offerings may be discontinued, or additional offerings may be taken for various missionary enterprises and evangelistic programs as agreed upon jointly by the Executive Committee and Dr. Graham.
4. When the crusade is ended and the records are complete, an audit is made by a Certified Public Accountant. This audit becomes a part of the permanent record of the Crusade and is available for public examination at any time.

The following items of Financial Policy have also been insisted upon by the Billy Graham Team in every city-wide crusade:


The salaries of the various team members, based on the length of time and the services they devote to any given crusade, are included in the expense budget and are paid by the local committee.

Dr. Graham, himself, does not receive any honorarium for his services from the local committee during a crusade. Nor is there any so-called “love-offering” taken for him. He is on a regular salary basis, paid by the Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis.

However, Dr. Graham’s actual expenses incurred in connection with the crusade are included in the expense budget and paid by the local committee. These expenses include travel to and from the city, hotel, meals, and other incidental items that of necessity must be incurred by him.

All other members of the Billy Graham Team receive a daily expense allowance to cover food, hotel accommodations, and the other incidental expenses incurred by them for their work in connection with the crusade. The amount of this allowance is set by the local committee in connection with the Crusade Director.

Travel expenses of the team members from their homes to and from the crusade city are also paid by the local committee, this amount being included in the crusade expense budget.


The broadcast of the “Hour of Decision” costs more than $30,000.00 per week. These programs, heard by millions around the world, are not underwritten or guaranteed. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is entirely dependent upon the gifts of God’s people to keep these programs on the air. To augment the gifts received by mail (which are not sufficient to carry on programs), the Association asks that each committee consider the practice of giving a Sunday afternoon offerings each week to the support of the “Hour of Decision” which will originate from the crusade city each Sunday afternoon while Dr. Graham is in the city and 11 be heard by millions across the Nation and in many foreign lands.


1. To enlist every church in the “fellowship of the concerned” for those outside her life.

2. To lead unchurched people to commit their lives to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

3. To stimulate and lead church people to a new and deeper commitment to Christ and the church.

4. To guide people into more active participation in local churches of their choice.

5. To strengthen, thereby, the Christian churches of this area.

6. To relate a dynamic faith to the solution of everyday problems.

7. To make the entire Metropolitan area God-conscious.

8. To focus national attention on these objectives.

About Wesley Gospel is self-published in the spirit of John Wesley and the Reformers, as when they used the printing press. The truth of God won't be censored or suppressed!
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