Billy Sunday

Richmond sinners were in peril!

World famous preacher Billy Sunday hit Richmond like a maelstrom from April 15, 1922 to May 29, 1922, and broke the news to east central Indiana residents that unless they changed their ways they would smell fire and brimstone. Soon!

He was here to transform Richmond… “the God-forsaken, whisky-soaked, sin-baiting, Sabbath-breaking, Lord-damning, harlot-ridden old town… into a paradise of God’s peace and benediction!”

The baseball-player-turned-evangelist hurled defiance at hell’s army in a special-built wood tabernacle seating 6,000 people in the first block on South 15th and Main [now CVS and Family Video]. He screamed, “The preacher who is afraid to speak the truth is as weak as Samson with his hair cut! Preaching poppy-cock tummy-rot is what makes ministers failures! If God would let me go down to hell and preach one sermon I could depopulate it in 15 minutes!”

Pounding, striking, hammering, showing no mercy but fighting the Devil every inch of the way, Billy Sunday “fired” on sin using “biblical texts” so that the one’s backside’ would be “raked with fire!”

He also lashed out at rumors he fleeced his eastern Indiana flock. “You have got some of the best people in Richmond I have ever met, and some of the biggest liars this side of hell, too. The man or men who have been telling you that I had to be guaranteed $20,000 before I came here is a lowdown black-hearted liar!”

He did make well over half that amount. The total free-will offerings of his revivals amounted to $10,718.04 for his six week sermons, plus travel, free meals and lodging, a Gennett record player and a Dille-McGuire lawnmower.


Morrisson-Reeves Library • 80 North 6th Street, Richmond, IN • 47374-3079 • U.S.A.
Phone (765) 966-8291 • Fax (765) 962-1318 • Email
2012© - all rights reserved • Updated
June 19, 2012