Depot Museum June 29 program to cover early 1900s revivals by famous evangelist


OREGON — The June 29 "Those Were the Days " presentation at 10 a.m. at the Oregon Illinois Depot will feature Dr. Tom Wadsworth of Dixon. The speaker's subject will be "Billy Sunday's Remarkable Revivals in Sterling and Dixon, in 1904 and 1905.” 

Pictured is the 3,300-seat tabernacle that was built in Dixon specifically for Billy Sunday's 36 days of revival meetings in February and March of 1905. On the stage at the left is Billy Sunday and on the right is Fred Fischer, Sunday's song leader who traveled with him. This picture is from one of the meetings held for men but there were separate meetings for the women. The evening revival meetings were open to all. Total attendance at all meetings in Dixon ranged from 147,200 to 185,000. Even though this number would certainly include people who attended multiple times, no Dixon event has ever attracted as many people to the city.

Wadsworth's one-hour presentation will reveal why the famous evangelist came to Sterling in 1904 and to Dixon in 1905, details about the special “tabernacles” built for these five-week revivals, descriptions of the music and preaching in these meetings, opposition to the revivals, the results of the meetings (1,500 conversions in Sterling and 1,300 in Dixon), and an assessment of why they were so successful.

Wadsworth is a speaker and writer who has served as a pulpit minister, radio personality, corporate communications executive, and national magazine editor. He holds two master’s degrees and a PhD, He has been hired to speak for large audiences from coast to coast and internationally.

For more information about this program or other programs, please contact Roger Cain 815.757.9715, Chris Martin 815.742.8471 or Otto Dick 815.440.0639.