- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Impact of Christian Evangelists on American Culture and Society

Essay by   •  February 9, 2013  •  Essay  •  496 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,280 Views

Essay Preview: Impact of Christian Evangelists on American Culture and Society

Report this essay
Page 1 of 2

Billy Sunday

History and Background

When it comes to the impact of Christian evangelists on American culture and society, few have had as much of an impact as did William Ashley Sunday, affectionately known as "Billy." This widely popular speaker traveled the country preaching in tents, churches, and anywhere a crowd would gather, and he is often known as the man who brought evangelism into the 20th century. His charisma and presentation skills were unparalleled, and he developed quite the following of supporters as well as critics. But regardless of the amount of people who spoke ill of him, no one can deny the large impact that Billy Sunday had in America, spiritually and socially.

Billy Sunday was born on November 19th, 1862 into a poor family. He was in and out of an orphanage for many years in his youth. Although he was one of many young men in the orphanage, one thing began to separate him from the rest, and that was his athleticism. Sunday seemed to be leaps ahead of the competition in track and baseball because of his daring speed. His athleticism brought him all the way to play baseball in the major leagues. He played for a few major league teams specializing in his ability to field the ball and run bases. He became the first player ever to run the bases in 14 seconds.

On a Sunday afternoon, Billy was with a few of his teammates from the Chicago Whitestockings, and they were out on the town together. As they were walking he heard the sound of hymns being sung, and they reminded him of songs that his mother used to sing to him before the orphanage. Drawn to the music he walked into the Pacific Garden Mission in downtown Chicago, and after a while turned his life over to Christ. It was then that he denounced his former ways, and changed his behavior rather instantly, as noted by friends and teammates. Shortly thereafter he began to preach in churches and YMCA, but it wasn't until he turned down a baseball contract for $400 a month and took a small paying job in ministry that he began to turn heads as a serious minister.

The spiritual impact that Billy Sunday had in his time was apparent. Some estimate that somewhere around 300,000 people walked the "sawdust trails" at the tent revivals he spoke at and gave their lives to Christ. This made him loved and hated from nearly every angle. There were some churches' that wanted to get Sunday's endorsement so that new converts would become members of their churches, yet Sunday would not easily do so. This made many pastors angry because there was much money to be made if the new converts were to become members and begin to tithe. Regardless, he was incredibly effective in reaching the lost for Christ.



Download as:   txt (2.7 Kb)   pdf (58.8 Kb)   docx (9.6 Kb)  
Continue for 1 more page »
Only available on