Billy Graham: Influential US evangelist dies at 99

RIP: Rev. Billy Graham!

Evangelist Billy Graham – among the best important ministers from the 20th Century – has actually passed away aged 99.

Graham turned into one of the best-known marketers from Christianity, starting his global purpose in sizable stadiums in London in 1954.

He passed away at his house in Montreat, North Carolina, a representative for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association mentioned.

In a 60-year job, he is actually determined to have actually individually addressed to 210 thousand folks.

Graham connected with thousands even more by means of the TELEVISION.

He ended up being a fully committed Christian at  16 after listening to a journeying evangelist and also was actually blessed a preacher in 1939.

He concerned greater focus in the United States when he kept a two-month administrative agency in a huge camping tent in Los Angeles in 1949.

Initially contradictory concerning the civil liberties activity in the United States, he took place to come to be a proponent in the 1950s along with racially included members.

Graham steered clear of the rumors which pursued some modern televangelists. His intense shipment ended up being a lot more evaluated along with evolving years and also conflict neighboring the methods from mass ministration.

Graham, a buddy people head of states coming from Truman to Nixon as well as Obama, taught his last rebirth conference in New York in 2005 at the grow older from 86.

About Rev. Billy Graham:

Billy Graham was born on a dairy farm near CharlotteNorth Carolina. His mother and father Morrow Coffey and William Franklin Graham managed the farm.[6] They were devout Christians[7] and Graham’s mother had a big influence on his faith.[6] In 1933 Graham’s father forced Graham and his sister Catherine to drink beer until they vomited. This made them hate alcohol for the rest of their lives.[8] The Billy Graham Center says Graham was converted in 1934 during a revival meeting in Charlotte led by local evangelist Mordecai Ham.[9] However, he did not become a member of a local youth group because he was “too worldly“.[8] After graduating from Sharon High School in May 1936 Graham went to Bob Jones College (now called Bob Jones University).

In his first year of college, he found both the schoolwork and rules too hard.[8] He almost had to leave school, but Bob Jones, Sr., the founder of the college, said that in doing that, he would throw his life away. He told Graham, “At best, all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks… You have a voice that pulls. God can use that voice of yours. He can use it mightily.”[8]

While he was at college, Graham would often take a canoe to a little island in the river. On that island he would preach to the birdsalligators, and cypress stumps. In 1937, Graham transferred to the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College of Florida) where the Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida now stands. Graham later transferred to Wheaton College and in 1943, graduated from Wheaton in Illinois with a degree in anthropology.[10] While he was at Wheaton College, Graham decided to take the Bible as the perfect Word of God. He accepted this as truth at the Forest Home Christian camp (now called Forest Home Ministries), southeast of the Big Bear area in Southern California. A memorial is there showing where Graham first made this choice.[11]

Family[change | change source]

In 1946, Graham married a girl who was in a class with him, Ruth Bell. Her parents were Presbyterian missionaries in China. Her father, L. Nelson Bell, worked as a surgeon there. When talking about Bell, Graham said “She looked at me and our eyes met and I felt that she was definitely the woman I wanted to marry.” Ruth said that he wanted to please God more than any man she had ever met. They married two months after they graduated from college. After marriage, they lived in a log cabin that she had made. Ruth died on June 14, 2007, at age 87.[12] They had five children together:[13] Virginia (Gigi) Graham Foreman; Anne Graham Lotz; Ruth Dienert; Franklin Graham, and Ned Graham. They also have 19 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.

Ministry[change | change source]

The Billy Graham Library

Beginning[ source]

Graham became a Southern Baptist minister in 1939. Then he took over and organized financing of the radio program “Songs in the Night”. Afterwards, he made the baritoneGeorge Beverly Shea director of music in his ministry. The program went well, but Graham left it in 1945. He wished to be a chaplain in the armed forces, but after trying to get in, he came down with mumps, so he had to not enlist. After some time, he recoveredin Florida. Then he started Youth for Christ with evangelist Charles Templeton. He traveled all through the United States and Europe as an evangelist.[8]

Hearst intervention[source]

Graham held many revival meetings in Los Angeles in 1949. These revivals are thought to be the time when Graham became a national religious figure.[14] This is because he got help from the powerful newspaper man William Randolph Hearst. Many people believe that Hearst liked Graham for his love of his country. It is also believed that he may have thought that Graham could help with his conservativeanti-communist views.[15]Hearst sent a telegram to his newspaper editors reading “Puff Graham” during Billy Graham’s late 1949 Los Angeles crusade.[8] Therefore, one could read much more about Graham now in Hearst’s newspaper chain and national magazines. That meant that his crusade event could run for eight full weeks — five weeks longer than planned. Henry Luce put Graham on the cover of Time magazine in 1954.[16]

Middle years[ source]

Three Rivers Stadium, PittsburghPennsylvania, where Billy Graham often held revivals

Graham had missions in both London and the Madison Square Garden in 1957. The London mission lasted 12 weeks and the New York mission was about 16 weeks. He also led his first crusade in Australia in 1959.

Graham was the president of Northwestern College in Minnesota from 1948 to 1952. He began many organizations, such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He also spoke against racial segregation during the 1960s. Graham did not want to speak to segregated auditoriums. He even once tore down ropes that had been put up to split the audience. Graham paid bail money to get Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. out of jail. That was during the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. He asked King to join him in the pulpit at the revival meeting at New York City in 1957. During that 16-week tour, he was heard by many people, who came to hear him at Madison Square GardenYankee Stadium and the Times Square.[4] Because they became good friends, Graham was one of the few white people King let call him by his birth name “Michael”.[17]

Later years source

During the Cold War, Graham was the first evangelist to speak behind the Iron Curtain.[18] During the Apartheid times, Graham would not go to South Africa until the government let all people sit together.[19] He finally preached his first crusade there in 1973, during which he taught that apartheid was not right.

Graham went to China, where his wife Ruth was born. He also appeared in North Korea in 1992. On September 14, 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks, Graham led prayer at the Washington National Cathedral. President George W. Bush went to this service. On June 24, 2005, he began what he said would be his last North American crusade. On the weekend of March 11 and March 12, 2006 Billy Graham held the “Festival of Hope”. It was held in New Orleans, which was recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

Graham said that he had to retire because of his failing health. He has had Parkinson’s disease for about 15 years, as well as many other problems. In August 2005, though weak, he used a walker to go to at the start of his library in Charlotte, North Carolina. On August 18, 2007, Graham, aged 88, was treated for intestinal bleeding.[20]

Billy Graham has preached Christianity to nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. Graham has also preached to hundreds of millions more through televisionvideosmovie, and webcasts.[21] He has been to over 41 evangelistic crusades since 1948. He began this ministry in 1947, and kept doing it until recently. He would often use a big area, such as a stadiumpark, or a large street to speak at. Groups of up to 5,000 people would often sing in choir at his meetings. Graham would preach the gospel and then invite people to come forward. In 1992, one-quarter of the 155,000 in his Moscow audience came for Salvation upon his request.[8]

Graham died from Parkinson’s disease on February 21, 2018, at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, at the age of 99.[22]