Author, Statesman - 1918 to Present
| Beginning with
the 1949 Los Angeles crusade, Billy Graham has become one of the most well
known names in evangelism. He has preached the Gospel to some 210
million people via city-wide crusades, television, video, film, and webcasts.
The Los Angeles crusade launched
Graham into international prominence. In fact, it was extended by
several weeks due
|to the large crowds who continued to attend
night after night. This would happen numerous times during his early
years of ministry. One in London lasted 12 weeks and a 1957 New York
City crusade in Madison Square Garden ran nightly for 16 weeks.
Subsequently, Graham founded
the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) in 1950. Since then,
he has established the weekly “Hour of Decision” radio program which has
been broadcast around the world on Sundays for over 50 years. His
other accomplishments include six annual television specials, a newspaper
column, “My Answer,” which is carried by newspapers both nationally and
internationally, Decision magazine which has a circulation of more than
one million, and World Wide Pictures with over 125 productions.
Billy Graham has written
24 books. His autobiography, “Just As I Am,” (1997) contains reflection
of his life from his birth in 1918 and growing up during the Depression.
At age sixteen, he committed himslef to Christ under the ministry of a
traveling evangelist, Mordecai Ham.
Graham was ordained in 1939
by a Southern Baptist Convention church. In 1943, he graduated from
Wheaton College in Illinois where he was married to Ruth McCue Bell.
Following his graduation, he patored the First Baptist Church in Western
Springs, Illinois. Eventually, he joined Youth for Christ, which
was a ministry to youth and servicemen during World War II. His preaching
there opened up more opportunities to declare the Gospel, thus, his evangelism
ministry began to take off.
institutions in the U. S. and abroad.
Furthermore, his strong evangelistic appeal continues to provide him with
opportunities to declare the Gospel.
|| Currently in
his eighties, Billy Graham continues to serve the Lord as the leader of
an ongoing and effective evangelistic organization. Having preached
in some 186 foreign countries, including most of the former Soviet bloc
countries, the evangelist remains active in his ministry.
Graham's counsel is still
sought by presidents. He holds numerous honorary doctorates from
Few evangelists in the history
of the Christian church have reached more souls with the Good News of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Due to his wise use of modern communications
technology, Graham has gone down in church history as one of the first
to use television and movies as medias for declaring the Gospel.
Whether others totally agree
with his Theology or not, no one can discount Billy Graham's tremendous
success in reaching out to the lost world of his generation.