“God’s Own Consumers”: Billy Graham, Mass Evangelism, and Consumption in the United States during the 1950s

  • Uta Andrea Balbier
Part of the Worlds of Consumption book series (WC)


Billy Graham appeared on the cover of Time. magazine for the first time on October 24, 1954. Inside, readers found an article on the preacher’s revival meetings, youthful looks, and middle-class lifestyle. It described Graham’s passion for golf, his use of high-tech equipment while preaching, and the rustic, eight-room house in Montreat, North Carolina, where his wife, Ruth, raised their four children.1 A year later, Life. magazine ran a photo essay on the Grahams.2 It showed the husband playing golf, walking the dog, and sitting at the family table, where the mother of the house served dinner. Graham’s public persona and his very ministry were bound up in the American middle-class lifestyle of the 1950s that he and his family embodied.


Religious Community Consumer Culture Consumer Society White Middle Class Religious Landscape 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The German Historical Institute 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uta Andrea Balbier

There are no affiliations available

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