Six organizations that undergird Billy Graham's evangelistic ministry had combined revenues of $38.4 million in 1977 but failed by $3.2 million to cover expeditures.
Although the financial picture for the first five months of 1978 improved, officials at Graham's world headquarters in Minneapolis are studying possible cutbacks in the operation to avoid another deficit.
Last year, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association made public its first financial statement . A new statement released June 23 covers for the first time the finances of five Graham affiliate organizations and the association.
A separate statement was issued for the World Evangelism and Christian Education Fund, which Graham started in 1970 to aid projects in missions, evangelism and Christian education.
The statement showed a balance of $15.5 million at the beginning of 1978 after $7.7 million was released for construction for the Graham Center at Wheaton (Ill.) College.Remaining money in the fund is earmarked for completion of the cener, development of a laymen's training center in North Carolina and other projects.
The affiliates of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are World Wide Pictures, which produces, and distributes evangelistic films; World Wide Publications (also known as Grason), which sells religious books and related materials; Blue Ridge Broadcasting Corp., which operates a religious radio station in Black Mountain, N.C.; Christian Broadcasting Association, which operates a religious radio station in Honolulu; and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada.
Combined assets for the association and affiliates were listed at $17.3 million at the end of 1977. The combined fund balance after deductions for liabilities and deferred giving programs was reported at $8.8 million, most of which involves land, buildings and equipment.
The Graham association alone last year had revenues totaling $27.7 million, down $1 million from 1976. Association expenditures totaled $30.4 million in 1977 compared with $27.7 million for 1976.
George M. Wilson, executive vice president of the Graham association, said one reason for last year's deficit was expenditures of more than $1 million for a nationwide Christmas television special that yielded few contributions until 1978. He also cited the bad winter in the northeastern United States that severely impeded mail service.