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Interview with Robena Morgan

Morgan, Robena
Echols, Emma
Date of Interview: 
Charlotte, NC; San Francisco, CA; Sharon Towers; Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church; Billy Graham crusade; Cow Palace; Train travel.
Ms. Morgan shares her memories of attending Billy Graham crusades. She describes a crusade she and her father attended in San Francisco and mentions her father`s involvement with Graham. Ms. Morgan also expresses her desire to attend the then-upcoming 1996 Graham crusade in Charlotte, NC.
Charlotte, 1930s-1990s
Interview Setting: 
Interviewed at Sharon Towers, Charlotte, NC
Levine Museum of the New South, Billy Graham Series
EE (Emma Echols): This is Emma Reid Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. [RECORDING INTERRPUTED] [RECORDING RESUMED]
EE: Robena, how long have you been at Sharon Towers?
RM (Robena Morgan): Fourteen years.
EE: And you grew up here in Charlotte. Your father was a m--, here.
RM: Yes.
EE: And tell me who your parents were.
RM: Well, they were from Virginia, from Harrisonburg, Virginia. And father came here and started his business in insurance and bonding.
EE: And then he was a member of what church?
RM: Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church.
EE: And you went there as a child, a young girl?
RM: Oh yes.
EE: And I understand he was a moderator at one time.
RM: Yeah, that was much later in his life.
EE: That`s right.
RM: And he was the first layman moderator. All of them had been ministers before.
EE: Now at some time you and your father wen--, attended a Billy Graham crusade in Charlotte, didn`t you? [RECORDING INTERRPUTED] [RECORDING RESUMED]
EE: Robena, did you and your family attend a Billy Graham crusade when he was here in Charlotte?
RM: Yes, we did, but then I think it was in--. I don`t remember the date. It was around `50--, the early 50s that he had a crusade in San Francisco, and my father and I- my mother didn`t like to travel- but my father and I went on a train trip. There were about--. I think there were about fifty people. And we stayed on--. We lived on the train and went to San Francisco. And he was at the St. Francis Hotel, Billy Graham was. We didn`t stay there, but he invited my father and me to have breakfast with him and several of his associates the morning of the crusade that we attended.
EE: And were there some of the other people from Rock Hill with you at that time for that breakfast? Or just--?
RM: People from Charlotte?
EE: Yes, from Charlotte.
RM: Oh yes. There were people from--. No, no, not at the breakfast. He just invited us because he and Father had been friends and had some relationship in Charlotte before he would gain--. Before he started his crusades.
EE: And so you and your father then attended the crusade in California?
RM: And he had him on his platform at the Cow Palace.
EE: Oh, he did? Your father.
RM: Had Father on the platform at the Cow Palace.
EE: That was quite an honor. You know that?
RM: Yes it was.
EE: And do you remember anything about the songs they sang or the message he gave that night.
RM: Now wait a minute, I`m ninety years old. [Laughter] You don`t expect me to remember that do you?
EE: But it was a great experience for wasn`t it?
RM: Oh yes.
EE: Do you know how long you stayed in Ca--, there?
RM: I think we were there two days of two--. I know we were there for two sessions. Two--.
EE: Evening sessions?
RM: Evening sessions, uh-huh, in this Cow Palace. Huge place then, of course, there were other auditoriums bigger than that now, but we thought that was just something great.
EE: Well, I`ve been looking through his books to try and find an account of that crusade in California.
RM: ( ).
EE: And you and I will find it one of these times. But it was a great experience, and I am so glad that you--. You goin--, plan to see him when he comes to Charlotte for this crusade, do you not?
RM: I certainly hope so. You know, if I can get there. I don`t go out much at night anymore. [Laughter]
EE: I`m sure that Sharon Towers will provide a bus and somehow you and I will be there.
RM: Indeed we will.