Baptists > History > Billy Graham
Evangelist, Author, Statesman - 1918 to Present
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   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.
   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 many
institutions in the U. S. and abroad.  Furthermore, his strong evangelistic appeal continues to provide him with opportunities to declare the Gospel.
   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.
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