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Home  >  Features  >  Looking Back: April 1956 Tell Scotland

Looking Back

Looking Back to April 1956 and preparations for the 'Tell Scotland' rallies following the Billy Graham Crusades of the previous year.


Preparation for ‘Tell Scotland’


500 men and women have volunteered for teams which will be engaged in assisting local congregations in the islands this summer to undertake ‘Tell Scotland’ congregational missions. Training courses under the Rev. D. P. Thomson have been held in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Montrose, Dunblane, Galashiels and West Fife.

The first team of about 80 has already begun work in the Presbytery of Mull, where the problem of long-vacant parishes is specially acute. The Presbytery includes also the islands of Cll, Tiree and Iona, and parishes in Morven and Ardnamurchan.

In May and June an area of Wester Ross will have a team. Orkney will follow in summer; and Islay in the autumn.

It is stressed that these are evangelistic campaigns closely related to ‘Tell Scotland’. The main purpose is to encourage and strengthen local Christian witness, to share in the discussion of what the continuing mission of the congregation means in the large scattered parish, and to help to set afoot the beginnings of new endeavours. ‘Tell Scotland’ means the awakening of congregations to their responsibilities as a missionary church; and the presence and experience of those who have shared in this reawakening elsewhere will not be made available in some of the remotest parts.


What has happened to the enquirers?

What has happened to many of the Billy Graham Crusade enquirers - especially those who had no previous church connection?

Some churches report that only a minority of those who were welcomed into the congregation at the end of the Crusade are still with them. One Glasgow minister says only two out of 20 still come to church.

Where they not really made welcome? Were their needs no tmet? Did they feel the Church spoke a different language from Billy Graham? Were the churches not ready to receive those who came?

What has happened to the missing ‘enquirers’?


70 Adult Baptisms at Newarthill

 After the ‘Tell Scotland’ visitation 110 new members were received by profession of faith. Of these, 70 first received baptism.


Youth Rallies in Glasgow Packed Out

3,000 Seek Entrance

 Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall is again to be the scene of big evangelistic rallies. On 12th May and 9th June it is expected that 3,500 young people will fill the circus arena to sing the psalms, hymns and choruses which echoed round the great hall a year ago at the All-Scotland Crusade.

 These rallies will be led by the Rev. Tom Allan, and ministers associated with him in evangelistic youth rallies which began as far back as 1949. Then about 30 young people who had been taking part in the Church of Scotland’s Seaside Missions expressed a desire to continue meeting together during the winter months. Meetings were held in North Kelvinside Church and other churches in the west end of Glasgow.

When Mr. Allan became minister of St. George’s-Tron Church in the centre of the city, the rallies were held there, and in February 1,400 young people from all over the West of Scotland attended, and hundred more were turned away.

When it was announced that admission to the next rally would be by ticket, 3,000 people applied. The rally took place on 4th March in St. George’s-Tron, which was packed. The service was relayed to St. John’s Methodist which was also filled to capacity, and to Adelaide Place Baptist Church where there was another large audience.

At all the rallies appeals are made to the young people to make decisions for Christ. At a recent meeting 77 people expressed an interest in Foreign Mission Work. Six wanted to study for the ministry. All have been put in touch with the appropriate Church departments.

Mr. Allan said that they were faced with the problem of accommodation. There was no hall or church big enough in the city to house regular meetings of this kind. He hoped the Town Council would consider renovating the City Hall and make it available to the public. He was investigating the possibility of holding an open-air rally later in the year in one of the big football grounds.

They wanted to experiment too with the use of closed circuit television for these rallies.

Said Mr. Allan: ‘This is something which has grown quite naturally. Perhaps the Church needs to be reminded that we don’t get men and women to enter the ministry or volunteer for foreign mission work unless first of all thye have committed themselves to Christ. Our task should be to lead these young people to personal commitment. There is a movement of the Holy Spirit in Scotland these days unlike anything we have known for many years.’


(We hear that Mr. Allan is to spend a fortnight in New York this summer sharing in an evangelistic crusade .)

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