Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.
Each week brings the anniversaries of great milestones, horrid tragedies, amazing triumphs, telling tribulations, inspirational progress, and everything in between.
Here are just a couple of things that happened this week, June 3-9, in Church history. They include the founding of the British YMCA and the Reverend Billy Graham preaching to more than one million people in South Korea.
YMCA Founded – June 6, 1844
This week marks the anniversary of the founding of the major international youth organization, the Young Men’s Christian Association by British citizen George Williams.
A farmer-turned-department store worker who moved to London for work as a teenager, Williams founded the group when he was 22 along with other young adults.
“Our object is the improvement of the spiritual condition of the young men engaged in houses of business, by the formation of Bible classes, family and social prayer meetings, mutual improvement societies, or any other spiritual agency,” stated Williams.
Years later, in 1851, the YMCA established its first chapter in the United States, which was organized by a retired sea captain named Thomas Valentine Sullivan.
In the present day, the YMCA has an estimated 2,700 chapters in the United States, with a global outreach to approximately 45 million people in 119 countries.
Billy Graham Preaches to Over Million in South Korea – June 3, 1973
This week marks the anniversary of when famed evangelist the Reverend Billy Graham preached to more than 1 million people in Seoul, South Korea.
Taking place on a warm Sunday and with the aid of interpreter Billy Kim, Graham preached at the Seoul island of Yeouido, which had massive open space.
In his authorized biography on Graham, John Pollock wrote that the large crowd present would have made it “easy to trigger a mass reaction.”
“He therefore made his invitation harder than usual. ‘If you’re willing to forsake all other gods, stand up,'” wrote Pollock.
“There was a hush upon the audience at first. Then one here and one there arose, until thousands were standing. Billy led them in the prayer of accepting Christ. …Then he said, ‘counselors with your material, make your way back to those people who are standing.’ Over 12,000 cards came in that day. Thousands more followed by mail ….”