LIFESTYLE

When God Chooses The Time: Christian Evangelist Billy Graham Dies At The Age Of 99

Date February 22, 2018 17:32

The pastor of the American Baptist church, one of the most prominent evangelists of the twentieth century, Billy Graham, died at the age of 99.

Part of the world’s history

Graham became one of the most recognizable evangelists of Christianity, starting his global mission with the stadiums and arenas of London in 1954.

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The spokesman of the Evangelical Association has recently announced that Billy Graham died at his home in Montreal, North Carolina. According to some estimates, during his 60-year missionary activity, hundreds of millions of people listened to Graham’s sermons.

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To the millions of them, Graham handled through the television screen ­– he was the first who used this means of communication on such scale to carry his preaching on salvation.

From a young preacher to an international phenomenon

Born in 1918 and raised on a parent farm in Charlotte, North Carolina, Billy Graham converted to Christianity at the age of sixteen, after he attended the sermons of a wandering evangelist. He was elevated to the pastoral order in 1939, when he turned 21 years old. Graham's reputation began to evolve in 1949, in Los Angeles, where he spent two months serving in a huge tent.

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During the years of his missionary work, he visited the remotest corners of the world, including North Korea, and spoke to huge audiences, such as the twelve thousand people on Haringay Arena in London, in 1954. Graham managed to avoid scandals, such as those that accompany many television preachers. Over time, his fervent manner of preaching gave way to a more restrained one under the influence of past years.

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Apart from that, Billy was a good man. He loved his family, and the close ones loved him. On his last birthday, he was treated with with favorite desert - lemon cake with lard icing. He also enjoyed canned food, particularly Vienna sausages, pork and beans.

Confessor of the presidents

Graham was a personal friend of several American presidents, including Truman, Nixon, and Obama, at whose last rally in New York, in 2005, he preached at the age of 86. He played golf with Gerald Ford and spent a vacation with George Bush Sr. The son of the latter, George W. Bush, turned to Graham in 2010, wishing to return to faith. Billy Graham had amazingly friendly relations with Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter as well.

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Graham welcomed Nixon as president, but later on criticized him after the Watergate scandal. Barack Obama became the 12th president who met with Graham, visiting a preacher at his home in North Carolina, in 2010.

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Later, Graham acknowledged that proximity to power could compromise his missionary work.

If I had the opportunity to start everything again, I would try to avoid participation in any political campaigns. The only worthy thing for a preacher is to bear the word of God.

President of the United States Donald Trump paid homage to the deceased, writing in his Twitter account:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Wilby, posted a message in Twitter as well, where he named Graham a modern Christian role model.

The famous human rights activist, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, was also among those who honored the memory of Billy Graham.

It is a pitty that such amazing people leave this world. We will never forget you, Billy, and will forever remember about your great impact on Christianity with much respect.

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