In the last 75 years, we have moved from 90 million evangelicals in 1960 to 600 million today and in the middle of it all, Billy Graham has been the voice and the person who has brought people together. He has been kind and not get caught up in politics. His life has been clean, without any scandals or rumors.
We could not have imagined a person of such stature, integrity and charisma would come along in the scene at the end of the second World War and emerge in the way that he has.
The Laussanne Movement
There a number of youth movements after the second World War and there was a desire to bring a new vision of the gospel.
As Rev. Billy Graham started preaching internationally, he developed a passion to ‘unite all evangelicals in the common task of the total evangelization of the world'. That led to him gathering over 2400 people from 150 nations in Lausanne, Switzerland for the First International Congress on World Evangelization in July 1974.
That is the pivotal moment in the 20th century for the evangelicals because at that point, we were still caught up in a fundamentalist mindset. What Billy Graham did was to bring a new group of people around a new powerful vision.
A new mindset for the evangelicals emerged from that meeting, defining the necessity and goals of evangelism, reaching the unreached people groups and becoming a voice for social justice.