The Evangelist Billy Graham’s (William Franklin Graham Jr.) memorial services (including by the United States Congress & Capitol Rotunda) and funeral service are impacting on the many who are particularly influenced by him at large, even impacting on some people who do not know him because of his magnitude of ministry which is revealed on media coverage. His passing even affects some of those who are not aware of his ministry because of it. Regardless he is living or not, his contribution to the evangelical world is so great.
The media reports wouldn’t touch some areas about him or some areas are shadowed by the major events that he contributed. Some media wouldn’t report anything about him despite he was a man of character and integrity.
He was born at the farmhouse in North Calorina, but in the small farming community, some people had been coming together and praying regularly to God that the Lord would raise someone in that farming community who would preach the good news of Jesus Christ to the nation and ultimately to the world.
His mother along with his grandmother paved a groundwork of faith for Billy Graham before his spiritual formation started.
His faith in Christ has not been formed instantaneously; he went through trials and errors in his childhood.
Once he received Christ as a personal Savior, he grew in grace and knowledge in Christ (2 Peter 3:18). He decided to study at a Bible Institute in Florida, and during that time, he went to the streets in Tampa, Florida, in order to preach as a street preacher as we read as follows:
“It was March 1938, at the Florida Bible Institute near Tampa, where I knelt on the 18th green of the golf course near the school and prayed… ‘O God, if you want me to preach I will do it.’
No one invited me to their church, even though I had asked some, so I went to the street corners in Tampa to preach.” (from 1998 *BGEA Christmas Card)
As we know his earlier preaching style is very charismatic. This is not only just a style of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, but also a predominant act of defending the free world. When we carefully look at that timeline of history, it is understandable. It was the time of Communism, Socialism and the Cold War: the Communism vs. Christianity representing the free world. It was a time that a strong charismatic preacher was needed to defend the free world threatened by the Communists and Socialists.
Billy Graham was impacting on not only the lives of thousands but also many pastors (clergy) by his exemplary life.
Billy Graham was perhaps the last major evangelist (“major prophet”) as an apologist in our modern history. We may go into a “Minor Prophets” era as we see in the Old Testament as a turmoil period in the history of Christianity or a persecution period has started.
Billy Graham is called an evangelist, but his latest word indicates he wants to be simply called a preacher as he has changed his residence from here to above. He said recently he thought he was involved too deeply in politics. It must be so.
We are honored to be able to witness his legacy just once in our lifetime or even a very rare event throughout history. It is not simple to evaluate squarely the legacy in the midst of or from inside of the preceding event of history. – T
Note: *BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
(Story Behind Billy & Ruth Grahams’ Caskets: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-story-behind-billy-graham-s-casket-and-the-prison-inmates-who-made-it/ar-BBJL0YZ?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580)
(Billy Graham’s Grave Marker [Ruth Graham’s]: https://www.courageouschristianfather.com/billy-grahams-grave-marker)
(Infant Billy Graham Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/galt-museum/4062378505/in/photostream/lightbox)
(Billy Graham Unpublished Rare Photos From the LIFE Archives: http://time.com/3893898/billy-graham-photos-unpublished)
(To Know More About Billy Graham: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/billy-graham/how-humble-evangelist-billy-graham-changed-christianity.html)