'America's Pastor' And Charismatic Evangelist Billy Graham Dies At 99
Billy Graham did not plan to become a Christian Minister. The son of a dairy farmer, he had big dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. But by the time he turned fifteen, he committed himself to full-time ministry.
By 1947, he held his first crusade in Grand Rapids, Mich. The citywide event drew thousands of people. After receiving an offer to host a radio show in 1949, he insisted that he would take the offer if he could raise the $25,000 for airtime in one night. And he did.
Besides his duties to the church, Billy Graham was also an adviser to presidents. He held consultations with 12 presidents starting with Harry Truman and ending with Barack Obama.
In the span of his ministry, the charismatic man held more than 400 crusades in over 185 countries across six continents. He is estimated to have reached about 125 million people with the gospel of Christ. And many of his sermons were televised by satellite across the world.
The Greatest Evangelist ever has passed away
News of the late evangelist’s death broke on Wednesday morning. For several months, he had been battling prostate cancer, pneumonia, and symptoms of Parkinson’s. it is reported that he was with family and friends at the time of death. Already condolence messages are pouring out.
Fellow minister Joyce Meyer shared this heartfelt message on her Twitter yesterday.
While it was sad to hear the news of Billy Graham passing, I am rejoicing that he is now home in heaven. Billy was a great man of God who made a tremendous impact all over the globe. His love for people and integrity had a great impact on my life and so many others! pic.twitter.com/m1KshXeSw4
— Joyce Meyer (@JoyceMeyer) February 21, 2018
Franklin Graham, son of the late minister, now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Tributes and condolences
The outpouring of tributes has only just begun as the entire world mourns the well-respected preacher. Even President Trump had kind words to say about the great Billy Graham.
The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2018
Praise God for the life and influence of Billy Graham who passed away last night. He was a man who boldly proclaimed the love of God and what it meant to be a Christian. If we all had his courage, the world would be a different place. 1/2
— Ben & Candy Carson (@RealBenCarson) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham's ministry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his matchless voice changed the lives of millions. We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, "well done good and faithful servant." Thank you Billy Graham. God bless you(2/2)
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 21, 2018
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that the global church owed the late Billy Graham an “immeasurable and inexpressible” debt.
Billy Graham was truly a legend and a man of god. He will always be remembered as “America’s Pastor”. Rest In Peace.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) February 21, 2018
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham lifted eyes toward heaven and instilled heaven’s values in hearts. The world mourns this man of character, this man of God.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham also published several books in his lifetime. He remains an inspiration to ministers around the world even in his passing. We offer our condolences to all Christians and people of faith.