“There is a great identity crisis among students today. Who am I? What is the purpose of life? Where did I come from? Where am I going? The Bible has a direct answer to these questions.”
– Billy Graham
In October 2017 I published my first book on Kindle Direct Publishing. That book was a short biography on Billy Graham. I have written nine other books since then, but that first book was very special because it was about Billy Graham. Billy Graham had a profound impact on my life. That’s why I love writing about him.
I have read Mr. Graham’s autobiography countless times. I listen to the audiobook whenever I drive and I’ve read the huge printed copy half a dozen times. I love his simple writing style and his humble and profound message about God.
I felt privileged and honored to write about Billy Graham. His life and message inspired me to give my life to Jesus Christ. I have no doubt that Billy Graham is in heaven enjoying the fruits of his long labor for the Lord. God bless you all and God bless Billy Graham. May he rest in peace.
Billy Graham was America’s most famous Evangelist. He preached a positive, personal relationship with God. His message transcended all class and ethnic divisions.
Graham grew up with an All- American dream to play baseball. Instead, he became the most celebrated religious figure of the 20th century. Confident to presidents and prime ministers, and friends with royalty and Hollywood stars. A voice of truth to millions who heard and received his message. A comforting voice to a nation in its most painful hours. A man who accredited others with his achievements and God with his successes. He will likely have no equal in our lifetime. He was Billy Graham.
Graham’s mission was a simple message of profound spirituality and social compassion He was free of the dark scandals, financial or sexual, that cast a shadow on the reputation of so many other preachers. His sincerity was transparent and convincing, and cannot be denied. Graham was an icon essential to a country that was founded on faith.
On the eve of the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade, an old friend who had become an atheist influenced Graham. Billy found himself assailed by doubt about the Bible’s trustworthiness. Billy knew in his heart that these doubts would destroy his effectiveness to be able to preach the Gospel.
His spiritual crisis was finally resolved at a conference center east of Los Angeles.
“I began to study the subject intensively,” he said later. “I also thought of Christ’s own attitude toward the Scriptures, and how he never once imitated they might be false. Then one night I got my Bible, and I went out in the moonlight and put it on a stump and knelt down. I said, ‘Oh God, I cannot prove everything. I cannot answer all the questions. But by faith, I accept this Book as the Word of God.’ From that moment on I have never doubted God’s Word. When I quote the Bible, I believe I am quoting the very Word of God, and there is an extra power in it. One month later, we began the Los Angeles Crusade.” said Billy Graham.
The same message he had preached to the cypress stumps as a Bible student in Florida he would take to the nations of the world. Graham’s growing influence and prestige brought him to the attention of the famous and influential, from Hollywood celebrities, to corporate moguls, and significantly, to those who occupied the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Over the years Graham’s friendship with eleven American presidents earned him the title of “Pastor to the Presidents.” From Truman to Bush II, Graham was the spiritual guide to the most powerful men in the world.
What I Will Miss the Most
It is Billy Graham’s voice that I miss the most. The beguiling yet commanding North Carolina drawl, along with his stab of a finger, itself as sure as Billy’s faith in God. “The Bible says …” Graham would announce, pointing to the book that seemed permanently attached to his other hand. And then he would tell us what it said and why it meant what it said and why we must give our lives over to it. . Unlike many traditional evangelists, he abandoned narrow fundamentalism to engage broader society. His speeches let us all know “The Word,” as Christians understand it, is eternal. Its Graham’s voice, which for decades seemed just as enduring, is suddenly gone.
Billy Graham’s Impact
Billy Graham at the apex of his international stature faced the closing years of the century. His sense of calling remained the same. His sense of where that calling was taking him was new. In the late 1980’s, Responding to fledging opportunities to hold meetings in Eastern Europe, and later in the Soviet Union, Billy Graham withstood criticism from many, who accused him of compromising his faith for political expediency.
Those first meetings may have only been a crack in the wall holding back freedom behind the Iron Curtain. But it would allow the first gleams of light to energize the efforts of others. Within a decade, the Soviet wall would collapse.
Over the years, Graham has certainly had his critics. Yet, the consistency of his character and integrity of his life have turned more than one enemy into a lifelong friend. Graham has participated in every Presidential inauguration since Lyndon B. Johnson became President. He’s been a counselor and friend to eleven Presidents, including special relationships with Presidents Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Graham has preached his message of the good news of faith in Jesus Christ to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history- over 210 million people in more than 185 countries and territories have heard him face-to-face. His pioneering use of television and radio helped him to spread the Gospel around the world. Over six decades Graham preached and as late as 2005 was attracting crowds of over 242,000.
Millions more have been touched by his voice on radio and television motion pictures. He had authored 23 books, many of them best sellers. The list of his honors and awards is endless. Arguably Billy Graham was one of the most influential men of the 20th century. I have no doubt he is happy and in heaven. God bless you, Mr. Graham, you will be missed.