Reidsville woman reflects on Billy Graham’s 1967 Tokyo crusade

REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- Looking back to 1967, Susie Stroud remembers getting the letter inviting her to join Rev. Billy Graham's Tokyo crusade.

“It was a very special time for me,” Stroud said.

Her role on the team was small but important.

“It was a booklet that had scriptures each day, almost a daily devotional,” she said.

She put packets together for new Christians who were saved during each night of the crusade.

“When they come forward and accept Christ, they're given materials to study and to grow,” she said.

She was 37 back then and being part of the crusade was a big deal.

News of her joining the Tokyo team made headlines in local newspapers.

“A lifetime experience that you never forget,” Stroud said.

Even though she only met and spoke with Graham once at a crusade years later, she says the power of his sermons have stayed with her until this day.

"He was a man that preached the gospel to the end,” she said. “He never stopped and he believed in it. He just meant so much to so many people.”

She says being a team member caused her to become a better Christian and to continue doing missionary work with churches in Greensboro and Reidsville.

“It just inspired me to watch people so dedicated to the cause,” she said.

Now at 87, with a scrapbook full of memories, Stroud says it's important to keep Graham's legacy alive.

“We just have to keep going,” she said.