‘Americas Pastor’ Billy Graham dies at 99
One of the most influential evangelical leaders in the world William F. Graham Jr. died today at his home in Montreat, NC.
Mr. Graham was born on November 7th 1918 in Charlotte, NC born of parents William Franklin Graham Sr. and Morrow Coffey Graham. Being the son of a dairy farmer he has come from a humble beginning. He has been through almost a century of history and has personally witnessed events like The Great Depression and most importantly to see the nation of Israel reborn on May 14, 1948. He passed away just shy of the 70th anniversary of it’s rebirth.
Mr. Graham was ordained in 1939 by Peniel Baptist Church in Palatka, FL and obtained his Biblical education at Florida Bible Institute. In 1943 he graduated from Wheaton College and married fellow student Ruth McCue Bell.
After graduating from college he became pastor of The Village Church of Western Springs in Western Springs IL. After leaving The Village Church he joined the Youth for Christ organization where he ministered to youth and services during World War II. He preached throughout the United States and Europe after the war as an emerging young evangelist.
During The Los Angeles Crusade in 1949 he became well known internationally. The Crusades where scheduled for three weeks and ended up lasting a total of 8 weeks where thousands of people came to Christ. He had many more Crusades throughout the years leading him to his ministry today, Billy Graham Evangelical Association.
BGEA is known throughout the world and has a weekly radio program “Hour of Decision,” has several television programs, a syndicated newspaper column “My Answer,” A popular magazine “Decision” and Samaritan’s Purse an organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.
Mr. Graham has written over 33 books, many of which became best sellers. His autobiography “Just As I Am” was published in 1997 and appeared on three top seller lists in one week.
Mr. Graham lost his wife of nearly 64 years in June of 2007. They had three daughters, two sons, nineteen grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren. His son Franklin Graham and daughter Anne Graham Lotz both have become prominent evangelical leaders, following in their fathers footsteps. The world will never forget one of the most influential evangelical leaders we have ever seen.
Franklin Graham tweeted today My father was once asked, “Where is Heaven?” He said “Heaven is where Jesus is and I am going to Him soon!
Anne Graham Lotz also tweeted today DADDY IS HOME with a link to a statement she made regarding her father’s passing.
While funeral arrangements are still pending the family reports he will be buried next to his wife Ruth. in a plywood coffin made by inmates just as she was at the Billy Graham Museum and Library in Charlotte. Charlotte Mecklenburg police will be organizing his funeral procession; the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said they plan to help if needed.
A Tribute To Billy Graham