Billy Sunday Time Line
November 19: William Ashley Sunday born in Ames, Iowa.
December 22: Sunday's father, William Ashley Sunday, dies of pneumonia at army camp in Patterson, Missouri. Sunday never knew his father. Later, when Sunday was a young child, his mother sent him and brother George to orphanage.
1883May 22: Sunday begins baseball career with Chicago White Stockings; strikes out his first 13 times at bat. 1886Sunday led to the Lord by Mrs. Sarah "Ma" Clarke at the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. 1887Winter: Sunday coaches baseball team at Northwestern University.
December 31: Sunday proposes to Helen Amelia Thompson.
1888Sunday traded from the White Stockings to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
September 5: Billy Sunday and Helen Thompson married at the Thompson home
in Chicago; Helen subsequently known as "Ma Sunday."
1889Daughter Helen Sunday born. 1891Sunday sets record of 90 bases stolen in 116 games.
Philadelphia Phillies offer Sunday $400/month.
Cincinatti offers $500/month.
Sunday takes "secretary of relgious department" job at YMCA for $83/month.
1892Son George Sunday born. 1894Pittsburgh Pirates offer Sunday $2,000/month.
Evangelist J. Wilbur Chapman visits Sunday and hires him as advance man for
1896J. Wilbur Chapman takes a church and leaves his nationwide evangelism
1897January: Sunday holds his first revival meeting at Garner, Iowa; nearly
100 people accept Christ during the week of meetings.
1903Sunday ordained by the Presbyterian Church. 1907Ma Sunday begins traveling with Sunday, handling his campaign planning
and finances, and speaking at women's meetings.
1909Homer Rodeheaver joins Sunday as soloist and song leader. 1917Sunday's famous ten-week New York Campaign; the love offering
(over $100,000) was given by him to the Red Cross and other World War I
charities; over 98,000 came forward to accept Christ.
1920Ma Sunday survives serious car accident. 1933Sunday collapses while preaching in Des Moinse, Iowa.
Son George commits suicide.
1935October 27: Sunday preaches his last sermon, at First Methodist Church, Mishawaka, Indiana; 44 people respond.
November 6: Sunday dies of heart attack.
November 9: Memorial Service at Moody Memorial Church, Chicago, attended by thousands.
From famous ball-player to famous evangelist, William Ashley "Billy" Sunday is still
remembered today for his energetic preaching style and large, successful evangelistic
campaigns across the United States. In his lifetime, Billy Sunday addressed over 100
million people without the aid of loud speakers, TV, or radio.
Sunday gained nationwide recognition for his prowess as a baseball player. He became
the first player to run the bases in 14 seconds, and set records for stealing bases.
Shortly after being Saved through the outreach of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago,
Sunday turned down a $400 per month baseball salary (at a time when the average
worker made $480 per year) for a $84 per month ministry position. Ball teams later
offered $500/month and even $2000/month, but Sunday remained committed to his
ministry for God. Later in life he was offered $1,000,000 to be in the movies, but again
declined in order to continue the evangelistic ministry God had called him to. He passed
away after a heart attack in 1935 at age 73.