Billy Sunday Selected Sermons

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In his autobiography, he said, "I never drank much. I was never drunk but four times in my life. I used to go to the saloons with the baseball players, and while they would drink highballs and gin fizzes and beer, I would take lemonade.

Although Sunday was immediately smitten with her, both had serious on-going relationships that bordered on engagements. Thompson had liked Sunday from the start and weighed in on his side, and Mr. The couple was married on September 5, It proved to be good preparation for his later evangelistic career.

Billy Sunday (1862 - 1935)

For three years Sunday visited the sick, prayed with the troubled, counseled the suicidal, and visited saloons to invite patrons to evangelistic meetings. In , Sunday became the full-time assistant to J. Wilbur Chapman , one of the best known evangelists in the United States at the time. Chapman was well educated and was a meticulous dresser, "suave and urbane. Sunday's job as Chapman's advance man was to precede the evangelist to cities in which he was scheduled to preach, organize prayer meetings and choirs, and in general take care of necessary details.

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When tents were used, Sunday would often help erect them. By listening to Chapman preach night after night, Sunday received a valuable course in homiletics. Chapman also critiqued Sunday's own attempts at evangelistic preaching and showed him how to put a good sermon together. Further, Chapman encouraged Sunday's theological development, especially by emphasizing the importance of prayer and by helping to "reinforce Billy's commitment to conservative biblical Christianity. When Chapman unexpectedly returned to the pastorate in , Sunday struck out on his own, beginning with meetings in tiny Garner, Iowa.

For the next twelve years Sunday preached in approximately seventy communities, most of them in Iowa and Illinois.

Sunday referred to these towns as the "kerosene circuit" because, unlike Chicago, most were not yet electrified. Towns often booked Sunday meetings informally, sometimes by sending a delegation to hear him preach and then telegraphing him while he was holding services somewhere else. Sunday also took advantage of his reputation as a baseball player to generate advertising for his meetings.

In in Fairfield, Iowa , Sunday organized local businesses into two baseball teams and scheduled a game between them. Sunday came dressed in his professional uniform and played on both sides. Although baseball was his primary means of publicity, Sunday also once hired a circus giant to serve as an usher. When Sunday began to attract crowds larger than could be accommodated in rural churches or town halls, he pitched rented canvas tents.

Again, Sunday did much of the physical work of putting them up, manipulating ropes during storms, and seeing to their security by sleeping in them at night. Not until was he well-off enough to hire his own advance man. Thereafter he insisted that towns build him temporary wooden tabernacles at their expense. The tabernacles were comparatively costly to build although most of the lumber could be salvaged and resold at the end of the meetings , and locals had to put up the money for them in advance.

This change in Sunday's operation began to push the finances of the campaign to the fore. At least at first, raising tabernacles provided good public relations for the coming meetings as townspeople joined together in what was effectively a giant barnraising. Sunday built rapport by participating in the process, and the tabernacles were also a status symbol, because they had previously been built only for major evangelists such as Chapman. Eleven years into Sunday's evangelistic career, both he and his wife had been pushed to their emotional limits. Long separations had exacerbated his natural feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.

For her part, Nell found it increasingly difficult to handle household responsibilities, the needs of four children including a newborn , and the long-distance emotional welfare of her husband. His ministry was also expanding, and he needed an administrator, a job for which his wife was ideally suited. In , the Sundays decided to entrust their children to a nanny so that Nell could manage the revival campaigns. Nell Sunday transformed her husband's out-of-the-back-pocket organization into a "nationally renowned phenomenon.

There were musicians, custodians, and advance men; but the Sundays also hired Bible teachers of both sexes, who among other responsibilities, held daytime meetings at schools and shops and encouraged their audiences to attend the main tabernacle services in the evenings. The most significant of these new staff members were Homer Rodeheaver , an exceptional song leader and music director who worked with the Sundays for almost twenty years, and Virginia Healey Asher , who besides regularly singing duets with Rodeheaver directed the women's ministries, especially the evangelization of young working women.

With his wife administering the campaign organization, Sunday was free to do what he did best: Typically, Homer Rodeheaver would first warm up the crowd with congregational singing that alternated with numbers from gigantic choirs and music performed by the staff.

When Sunday felt the moment right, he would launch into his message. Sunday gyrated, stood on the pulpit, ran from one end of the platform to the other, and dove across the stage, pretending to slide into home plate. Sometimes he even smashed chairs to emphasize his points.

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His sermon notes had to be printed in large letters so that he could catch a glimpse of them as he raced by the pulpit. In messages attacking sexual sin to groups of men only, Sunday could be graphic for the era. Many of the things said and done bordered upon things prohibited in decent society. The sermon on amusements was preached three times, to mixed audience of men and women, boys and girls.

If the sermons to women had been preached to married women, if the sermons to men had been preached to mature men, if the sermon on amusements had been preached to grown folks, there might have been an excuse for them, and perhaps good from them. But an experienced newspaper reporter told me that the sermon on amusements was "the rawest thing ever put over in Syracuse. Sunday's sermon on the sex question was raw and disgusting. He also heard the famous sermons on amusements and booze. He saw people carried out who had fainted under that awful definition of sensuality and depravity.

Homer Rodeheaver said that "One of these sermons, until he tempered it down a little, had one ten-minute period in it where from two to twelve men fainted and had to be carried out every time I heard him preach it. In , journalist Lindsay Denison complained that Sunday preached "the old, old doctrine of damnation". Denison wrote, "In spite of his conviction that the truly religious man should take his religion joyfully, he gets his results by inspiring fear and gloom in the hearts of sinners.

The fear of death, with torment beyond it—intensified by examples of the frightful deathbeds of those who have carelessly or obdurately put off salvation until it is too late—it is with this mighty menace that he drives sinners into the fold. Crowd noise, especially coughing and crying babies, was a significant impediment to Sunday's preaching because the wooden tabernacles were so acoustically live.

During his preliminaries, Rodeheaver often instructed audiences about how to muffle their coughs. Nurseries were always provided, infants forbidden, and Sunday sometimes appeared rude in his haste to rid the hall of noisy children who had slipped through the ushers. Tabernacle floors were covered with sawdust to dampen the noise of shuffling feet as well as for its pleasant smell and its ability to hold down the dust of dirt floors , and coming forward during the invitation became known as "hitting the sawdust trail. Apparently, "hitting the sawdust trail" had first been used by loggers in the Pacific Northwest to describe following home a trail of previously dropped sawdust through an uncut forest — a metaphor for coming from, in Nell Sunday's words, "a lost condition to a saved condition.

Newspapers often printed his sermons in full, and during World War I, local coverage of his campaigns often surpassed that of the war. Sunday was the subject of over sixty articles in major periodicals, and he was a staple of the religious press regardless of denomination. Over the course of his career, Sunday probably preached to more than one hundred million people face-to-face—and, to the great majority, without electronic amplification.

Vast numbers "hit the sawdust trail. Before his death, Sunday estimated that he had preached nearly 20, sermons, an average of 42 per month from to During his heyday, when he was preaching more than twenty times each week, his crowds were often huge. Even in , well into the period of his decline, , people attended the 79 meetings of the six-week Columbia, South Carolina , campaign—23 times the white population of Columbia.

Nevertheless,"trail hitters" were not necessarily conversions or even "reconsecrations" to Christianity. Sometimes whole groups of club members came forward en masse at Sunday's prodding. By , Rodeheaver was complaining that Sunday's invitations had become so general that they were meaningless. Large crowds and an efficient organization meant that Sunday, the former resident of an orphan home, was soon netting hefty offerings. The first questions about Sunday's income were apparently raised during the Columbus, Ohio , campaign at the turn of — Sunday was welcomed into the circle of the social, economic, and political elite.

He counted among his neighbors and acquaintances several prominent businessmen.

Billy Sunday

The Sundays enjoyed dressing well and dressing their children well; the family sported expensive but tasteful coats, boots, and jewelry. Nell Sunday also bought land as an investment. In , the Sundays bought an apple orchard in Hood River, Oregon , where they vacationed for several years. Although the property sported only a rustic cabin, reporters called it a "ranch.

Although Sunday enjoyed driving, the couple never owned a car. In , the Sundays moved to Winona Lake, Indiana , and built an American Craftsman -style bungalow, which they called "Mount Hood", probably as a reminder of their Oregon vacation cabin. Sunday was a conservative evangelical who accepted fundamentalist doctrines. He affirmed and preached the inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth of Christ, the doctrine of substitutionary atonement , the bodily resurrection of Christ , a literal devil and hell , and the imminent return of Jesus Christ. At the turn of the 20th century, most Protestant church members, regardless of denomination, gave assent to these doctrines.

Sunday refused to hold meetings in cities where he was not welcomed by the vast majority of the Protestant churches and their clergy.

Sermons about Billy Sunday -

But what happened that day was anything but routine. Within minutes all the players from both teams had joined in the Presenting our vision for how God desires to use our church to impact our community. Impact Our Community Intro: Today, Impact our community through relevant ministry. Pray Start by looking at: The Impact of the Early church They were a small group of believers possibly around We must be in control of our anger.

A lady once came to Billy Sunday and tried to rationalize her angry outbursts. Angry cynical people die young. Men who score high for hostility on standard tests are four times more likely to die prematurely than men whose scores are low. What are the problems with trying to play the role of a judge over others? Bottom Line, quoted in Homemade, February They are members of Mensa. They seem to know everything. Home Sermons Search Results: Free Sermons and Sermon Outlines for Preaching: Sermons on Billy Sunday: Rating 5 stars 4 stars or more 3 stars or more Any Rating. Language English Spanish 1.

Sermon Type Full Sermon Outlines Here is a clip of Billy Sunday preaching in Keep in mind two things, though, as you watch: In January , the Eighteenth Amendment to U. Constitution was ratified, declaring illegal the production, transport, and sale though not private consumption or possession of alcohol. Although the audio is not very good, in the following video you can see Sunday preach outdoors after being introduced by his music leader Homer Rodeheaver at Winona Lake, Indiana.

Finally, here is some stock video footage of Sunday preaching in New York City in , without any sound:. Moody and before Billy Graham. Your email address will not be published. Please enter an answer in digits: He would later used his hard-scrabble past as a justification for his plain-spoken style: Regarding his early preaching style, Sunday recounted: So what would it have been like to hear him preach? Martin described his approach: A Louisville newspaper in recorded that Sunday was a whirling dervish that pranced and cavorted and strode and bounded and pounded all over his platform and left them thrilled and bewildered as they have never been before.