A warm wish to Billy Graham on his 99th birthday! Author of dozens of popular books, renowned inspirational speaker, counsel to Presidents, and often voted “Greatest Living American”, The Reverend Billy Graham celebrates this notable birthday on November 7, 2017. Christian evangelist Billy Graham has received a number of awards over his 99 years, including being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
This man has changed countless lives, leading many to Christ through Billy Graham Crusades where he would speak around the world at stadiums filled with tens of thousands of folks looking for answers and something to fill their soul. And the Reverend Billy Graham delivered. Reverend Graham is well known as the most influential pastor of recent history, perhaps in more than a century. He was widely revered and served as personal spiritual adviser to such American presidents as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. He even spoke alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.
Billy Graham was born in 1918 on a dairy farm. He was the oldest of four children and along with their parents, they made Charlotte, North Carolina their home. Mr. Graham married Ruth Bell, the daughter of missionaries, in 1943 and the couple created a family legacy of five children: Gigi, Anne, Ruth, Franklin, and Nelson, all whom have made distinguished careers in service to the Lord. Billy and Ruth Graham are also grandparents, great-grandparents, and were married nearly 64 years before Ruth passed in 2007.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was formed in 1950 and it has several ministries including Christianity Today, the Hour of Decision that was broadcast around the world for several decades, and a number of television broadcasts about missions that ran throughout the years.
My fondest memories of Reverend Graham were from my childhood when my mother would watch his crusades televised. I remember George Beverly Shea singing at the start of each broadcast. Then Reverend Graham would deliver a profound and inspiring, sometimes emphatic, message to throngs of people who filled large sports stadiums. It would be difficult to find an empty seat in these arenas. When Reverend Graham had an altar call at the end of the program, I’d watch with wide eyes when at first dozens, then hundreds or more, folks made their way towards the field and near his podium.. They’d been moved by the Spirit to come forward and be changed. He was known as a humble man, a gentleman with incredible kindness who persevered.
Happy Birthday, Reverend Graham. You have been and remain so an incredible inspirational teacher to an untold number.