Billy Sunday preaches to 10,000 in Spokane on January 24, 1909.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 3/13/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5413

On January 24, 1909, the Christian evangelist Billy Sunday (1862-1935) preaches to 10,000 people in the largest religious revival ever to have taken place in Spokane.

Billy Sunday was a professional baseball player who played with the Chicago White Stockings. He was converted to Christianity at the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago in 1886, and in 1891 left baseball to become an evangelist.

He preached in tents or temporary tabernacles, and was an influential advocate of Prohibition. In his famous booze sermon he stated:

"I am the sworn, eternal and uncompromising enemy of the liquor traffic. I have been, and will go on, fighting that damnable, dirty, rotten business with all the power at my command. I shall ask no quarter from that gang, and they shall get none from me" ( Sermon preached in Boston, n. d., Billy Sunday Online).

He further stated: "Whiskey and beer are all right in their place, but their place is in hell."

Billy Sunday also devoted great energy to selling war bonds during World War I.


Sources: History of the City of Spokane (Durham: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1912), 543; "Billy Sunday Online," (http://billysunday.org).

Related Topics:   Religion | Society

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You