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Early Life and Calling
Billy Graham was born on November 7, 1918, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Raised on a dairy farm by devout Christian parents, he was exposed to the teachings of the Bible from a young age. At the age of 16, Graham experienced a life-changing moment at a local revival meeting led by evangelist Mordecai Ham. This encounter led him to commit his life to Christ and pursue full-time ministry work.
Graham attended Bob Jones College (now Bob Jones University) and later transferred to the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College of Florida), where he began preaching in local churches. He continued his education at Wheaton College in Illinois, earning a degree in Anthropology. It was there he met his future wife, Ruth Bell, with whom he would have five children.
Global Evangelism and Crusades
In the late 1940s, Billy Graham’s ministry began to gain national attention. His dynamic preaching style, unwavering faith, and ability to connect with people from all walks of life made him a popular figure in the evangelical world. In 1950, he founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) to support and expand his ministry.
Throughout his career, Graham conducted hundreds of evangelistic crusades around the world, preaching the Gospel to millions of people. His simple message of hope, redemption, and salvation resonated with countless individuals, resulting in many conversions and changed lives.
Spiritual Advisor to Presidents
Billy Graham’s integrity and wisdom earned him the trust and respect of numerous U.S. Presidents, from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. As a spiritual advisor, he provided counsel and prayer support for these leaders during some of the most critical moments in American history. Graham’s influence extended beyond the political realm, as he also met with various world leaders and dignitaries, promoting peace and understanding among nations.
Media Outreach and Publications
Understanding the power of media to reach a wider audience, Billy Graham embraced television, radio, and print to share his message. He founded the radio program “Hour of Decision,” which aired for over six decades, and his television ministry reached millions of homes worldwide. Additionally, Graham authored numerous books, sharing his insights on faith, spirituality, and personal growth.
Philanthropy and Humanitarian Efforts
Throughout his life, Billy Graham was committed to helping those in need. His organization, the BGEA, supported various charitable and humanitarian initiatives, including disaster relief efforts, healthcare projects, and education initiatives. Graham’s compassionate spirit and commitment to social justice made a significant impact on the lives of countless individuals.
Legacy and Impact
Billy Graham passed away on February 21, 2018, leaving behind a legacy of evangelism, integrity, and spiritual influence. Known as “America’s Pastor,” his life and ministry touched millions of lives, inspiring generations of believers to grow in their faith and share the love of Christ. His steadfast devotion to the Gospel and his unwavering commitment to living a life of integrity serve as a shining example of the transformative power of faith in action.
Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association have consistently used current technology to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The Billy Graham TV Specials are half-hour, ministry-focused programs covering various initiatives. Each program highlights how the Gospel is impacting people around the world. The Billy Graham TV Specials are broadcast on many Christian networks. See recent episodes and get involved online at http://www.BillyGraham.tv.
On the anniversary of Billy Graham’s death, this revealing and personal program celebrates the beloved evangelist’s life story. Featuring behind-the-scenes accounts from Billy himself and thoughtful interviews from those he knew, this unique film focuses on the man and the life-changing message he preached.