Ed Stetzer, who holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair at Wheaton College (Billy Graham's alma mater), shares his thoughts.
Two hundred million people. That’s the number of people that Rev. Billy Graham is thought to have preached the gospel to during his years of active ministry. This doesn’t include those who heard via radio or film. Millions have come to faith in Christ as a result of his commitment to his Savior and his pursuit of the call of God on his life. He has held the position of one of the most admired people in America more than any other individual.
Billy Graham was beloved by both Christians and non-Christians, admired by those who love Jesus and those who have rejected Him. And with his passing today, we are at a loss for words in many ways.
His impact on modern Global Christianity is unparalleled. And yet His life calling was one of simple obedience. “My one purpose in life,” Rev. Graham once said, “is to help people find a personal relationship with God, which, I believe, comes through knowing Christ.”
In the Billy Graham Center, where I work, we have an entire section devoted to the life and ministry of Rev. Graham. On the walls are panoramic pictures of him at Crusades, him with his family, him on magazines, and perhaps most importantly, him praying to the God he loved so dearly.
These walls tell the story of Rev. Graham, from the time he was born in 1918 and through his latter days. Having walked through these sections many times, it is hard to believe he is now face to face with the One he told millions about.
William Franklin “Billy” Graham Jr., the eldest of four children, was born on November 7, 1918, near Charlotte, North Carolina. He grew up on a dairy farm, and at the age of 16 went to visit evangelist Mordecai Ham. He trusted in Jesus at one of Ham’s revivals. Graham ...