Happy Birthday, Billy!

Several decades ago a dairy farmer and his wife in North Carolina held a prayer meeting.  One of the things they prayed for was someone in their area who would go on to have a massive worldwide ministry.  Their prayers were answered through their own family.  95 years ago this coming Thursday, the dairy farmer and his wife gave birth to William Franklin Graham Jr. 

It is widely believed that Billy Graham has preached the gospel to more people than anybody else in history.  He has also been a spiritual adviser to multiple U.S. presidents.  In an era when preachers are not as respected as they used to be, Billy has constantly been on the upper rungs of Gallup's List of Widely Admired People.

During the late 1990’s, I worked at World Wide Pictures, the film ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  My job there was calling pastors throughout the United States scheduling evangelistic films to be shown in their churches.  Although telemarketing work can get tedious, my job at World Wide Pictures was quite enjoyable.  Most of the time, I talked with pastors and church secretaries who had great respect for Billy.

There were a couple occasions when I got to talk with Billy Graham himself.  I met Billy for the first time during an employee picnic and told him that God had called me to be an evangelist as well.  Billy replied, “Make sure you study the Scriptures.”

The following summer at another employee picnic, I told Rev. Graham I had just finished reading his autobiography “Just As I Am” and really enjoyed it.  With a serious look in his eye Billy replied, “Every time I read it, I get bored!”  Billy has a unique way of being humorous and humble at the same time.

Although Billy has retired from doing crusades, he is still involved in getting the gospel out.  This month the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is leading a campaign called My Hope America, combining the impact of video programs with the power of personal relationships.  Christians across the United States are opening their homes to share the Gospel with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors featuring life-changing testimonies and powerful messages from Billy Graham.

God bless you, Billy, for your continued Christ-like example and for your commitment to preach the gospel!

"A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men."
- Proverbs 18:16


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