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

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


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

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