Billy Graham

Billy Graham went to be with the Lord this morning. The effect he's had on our planet is immeasurable, and much is available elsewhere about that enormous impact. But I've been reflecting on all the ways he's impacted my own life:
My connections to Billy Graham began long before I was born. After my grandfather passed away in 1942 my grandma was left with two little girls, two months (my future mother) and two years old. Some church ladies thought Billy might make a great new father, so they arranged a dinner so they could meet. George Beverly Shea was there, too, so it was nothing private. Billy, working on his second degree at Wheaton College, already knew of his call to be an evangelist, and Grandma knew she was called to be a missionary, so nothing came of it. She did meet him after one of his crusades, and he was glad she’d served as a missionary to Kenya, and he remembered that she had two little girls.

He was a co-founder of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, so I manned phones when he had a crusade in Boston while I was a student there. It was a very impactful experience for me. He also popped into a chapel, but I was off campus that day. Here's a brief but beautiful tribute to Billy Graham by my advisor at Gordon-Conwell: A Tribute to Billy Graham.

I performed at Montreat College, where the Grahams had a close affiliation.

I performed on a field where he preached.

I was on the planning team for a Lausanne Congress, which he founded.

I performed in the chapel for Far East Broadcasting, founded by Billy Kim, who was the translator for Billy Graham at his largest crusade, in Seoul.
They're little connections, but each time they've encouraged me to pray for a greater impact for the Kingdom.

If you're not in the Kingdom, you can be:

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