Billy Sunday Visit
William "Billy" Sunday (1862-1935) was an American evangelist. He was saved through faith in Christ in 1886, while a professional baseball player in the National League. As an evangelist from 1896 to 1935, he made an attack on liquor the mainstay of his campaigns. Billy Sunday figured prominently in the early twentieth century prohibition movement, and liquor sellers often closed down when he came to town.
In April 1912, Billy Sunday visited Fargo. A special tabernacle was built for Sunday's stay in Fargo. The building was located on the corner of Fifth Street and Second Avenue North. The building was dedicated on Thursday, April 4, 1912, with about 2,000 in attendance. There a long dedication program with the principal address by Rev. Frederick G. Behner of the First Presbyterian Church. Many other local ministers attended.
Services in the tabernacle began on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1912 and continued for six weeks. The Fargo Forum estimated that 12,000 people attended the three services held the first day.
Sunday was a bombastic speaker and reverent in his beliefs. His many sermons took strong issue with the theory of evolution, cigarette smokers, dance halls, Unitarianism, women who play bridge, divorce, and scores of othe topics on which he had heated opinions.