The Righteous Are As Bold As A Lion
William Ashley “Billy” Sunday (1862-1935)
Billy Sunday was born in Ames, Iowa. His Father died when he was less than a year old and Billy grew up in an Orphanage. He was a skilled sportsman and became a professional baseball player and played in the National League for seven years. He was converted to Christ through the Street Preaching of Harry Monroe of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.
After entering the Ministry, Sunday Preached in the Army camps during World War 1, and later held City wide meetings in the various cities across America. Sunday broke Pulpits when he preached, confronting world– weary men and women with a strong, passionate, dramatic Gospel couched in the language of the common man. His messages would target private and public sins and the things that promoted them, especially “Booze” - The drug of Choice for the times.
Known as the “Baseball Evangelist” he was more than a Preacher in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. He was a man who galvanized religion into an active force against the social evils . He helped close 200 salons in one city and brought to preaching a mixture of humor and hellfire that made listeners take heed.
He was a one– man human video running, rasping to the small and the great of his time from a high-profile platform of his own past sports fame. He would exhort: “You don’t need gold, you need God; You don’t need Booze, you need The Bible, and You do not need Jags, You need JESUS.”
Billy Sunday began speaking to youth groups while he was still an active professional baseball player. In the 1890’s Billy was offered 500.00 a month to play baseball for the Philadelphia. Billy turned that down to work for the Chicago YMCA for 83.33 a month. Billy left baseball and signed on with God. Billy organized Bible Studies, gave his testimony, and worked with the derelicts on Skid Row.
Billy worked on the Evangelistic Crusades of Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman for three years. When Dr. Chapman took a Church in Philadelphia, Billy was invited to give a series of messages in Garner, Iowa. That was the beginning of Billy’s crusades. 268 people made a decision to give their lives to God.
In one meeting in Philadelphia, over two million people attended during a period of eight weeks. He held campaigns for over twenty years with such intensity that he physically “Burned out” for CHRIST. His preaching was influential in the support of the Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution.
In his 39 years of preaching, Billy Sunday addressed an estimated 100 million men and women without the benefit of television, radio or public address systems such as we have today with Internet and vast Social Media.
From 1896 until his death in 1935, Billy Sunday was never without an opportunity to share The Gospel. In 1915, Billy conducted meetings in Philadelphia from January 3 to March 21. More than 2 million people attended the meetings and over 40,000 people made decisions for God.
“Unless you have made a complete surrender and are doing HIS WILL, it will avail you nothing, no matter if you have reformed a thousand times and have your name on fifty Church records.” Billy Sunday
“If you are a stranger to prayer, you are a stranger to the greatest source of power known to human beings.” Billy Sunday
“Let’s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ.”
*** Portions of Billy Sundays Biography are shared from The Revival Study Bible
for allowing the use of his painting, "The Prodigal", for our header.
"Image copyrighted by Art2See, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Somerset House Publishing, Inc."
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