Sunday, Billy


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Sunday, Billy

(William Ashley Sunday), 1863–1935, American evangelist, b. Ames, Iowa, in the era around World War I. A professional baseball player (1883–90), he later worked for the Young Men's Christian Association in Chicago (1891–95) and, during that time, became associated with the Presbyterian itinerant evangelist J. Wilbur Chapman (1859–1918). After leading a successful revival in Garner, Iowa (1896) Sunday became a full-time evangelist. Known as "the baseball evangelist," Sunday drew large crowds to his revivals with his flamboyant style. As the most popular American evangelist of the World War I era, he raised much of the popular support for prohibitionprohibition,
legal prevention of the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, the extreme of the regulatory liquor laws. The modern movement for prohibition had its main growth in the United States and developed largely as a result of the agitation of
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.

Bibliography

See W. G. McLoughlin, Jr., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name (1955).

Sunday, (William Ashley) Billy

(1862–1935) Protestant evangelist; born in Ames, Iowa. He grew up in poverty but managed to complete high school before joining the Chicago White Sox baseball team in 1883. He underwent a religious conversion in 1887, and, after retiring as a player in 1891, went to work for the YMCA in Chicago. His fabulously successful career as an evangelist began in 1896. A flamboyant fundamentalist, his denunciations of science, liquor, and political liberalism attracted an enormous following, especially in rural areas. Although his influence began to decline after about 1920, he continued preaching to the end of his life.
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