Billy Graham, who made
the Gallop Poll's list of the Ten Most Admired Men in the World
44 times since 1955, got his start in Tampa.
While attending Florida Bible College on the
Hillsborough River in Temple Terrace, 1937-1940, he made frequent
guest appearances on local religious radio programing...then required
by the Federal Communications Commission. There was no television
in Tampa in those days so his broadcast preaching was limited
to radio stations WDAE and WFLA.
During that period, he made his commitment
to evangelism on the 18th hole of the Temple Terrace Golf Course
and took to the streets of Tampa to develop the style that made
him famous and personal religious advisor to 10 U.S. Presidents.
He preached often at DeSoto Trailer Park in
Palmetto Beach, south of Ybor City, and along the skid row section
of North Franklin Street near downtown Tampa and just south of
the current expressway overpass. A historical marker commemorating
his activities now stands in that area on Florida Avenue.
While in Tampa, he was often a guest preacher
at a church on North Armenia Avenue just south of Columbus Drive
and attended Sunday services there as well.
Often called "Pope of Protestant America,"
he now lives in retirement in the North Carolina Mountains outside
of Charlotte and has turned his ministry over to his son.
His last evangelical crusade in Tampa was three
years ago and at that time he said it would be his last in this