5 things you need to know: Honoring America's Pastor, Rev. Billy Graham


Boz Tchividjian, the grandson of the late Billy Graham, lives in the Lynchburg, Virginia area and works as a law professor at Liberty University. We send our deepest condolences to the Graham family. "I didn't say to the Lord, 'I'm a preacher, and I've preached to many people.' I said, 'Oh Lord, I'm a sinner, and I still need Your forgiveness".

Amy Grant, Matthew West, TobyMac and others reflected on the death of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham.

For the Christian Right, the alliance with the GOP rested on a narrow agenda of shared policy stances, but for Graham, the goal was always larger.

More than anyone else, Graham built evangelicalism into a force that rivaled liberal Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in the USA, and he became a confidant of presidents and other leaders. "His legacy of servant leadership is an example to all of us".

Tchividjian says Reverend Billy Graham lived a humble life.

"No more than one or two popes", he said, "perhaps one or two other people, came close to what he achieved".

It was through the crusades where Graham found his largest live audiences in the USA and internationally, however, his message spread the world as well through television and radio programs, 34 books, video, film and the internet, his ministry evolving with technology and the ways to reach people. "He was America's pastor". "While his humility, faith, and booming voice will be sorely missed, today, he is at peace with God".

Billy Graham is survived by his sister Jean Ford; daughters Gigi, Anne and Ruth; sons Franklin and Ned; 19 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

In 1947, Graham began holding "crusades", where he would rent a huge venue and where he would recruit people to sing.

"I was opposed to evangelism", according to Graham's official obituary through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. I remember thinking to myself, "I'm pretty sure what he is saying is true, but I don't want it to be".

In the 1950s, he decided that Eisenhower was the "strong spiritual leader" who would lead the nation back to God. No one was more surprised than Graham himself.

He was financially supported by some of the wealthiest and most respected men and women in the world, and yet he spent the entirety of his life surrounded by the same small group of friends from the hills of North Carolina who came to faith together, felt called by God together, and embarked on their awesome journey of faith together. I'm sure thousands will be able to do the same, because Billy Graham touched the lives of millions with the simple, yet life transforming message that is the Gospel.

His planned funeral and memorial services reflect the massive scale of his influence in the USA, where he was variously known as "America's pastor" and the "pastor to the Presidents" due to his close personal and spiritual relationships with each post-World-War-II president since Harry Truman.

Ruby Sparks, 85, attended a Graham youth ministry meeting in 1951, when she was a college student in Greensboro, North Carolina, and met him in 1970.

"I am going to preach a gospel not of despair but of hope - hope for the individual, for society and for the world", he said.

Duca has received a lot of backlash for her tweets, with people calling it "gross and despicable".

- Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis)He preached in favor of inclusiveness and viewed diversity in our society as a strength. He also provided counsel to presidents from Truman to Obama over his more than 60 years of evangelism. "And I believe because of his service to humanity, that he's truly gonna be great in the kingdom of heaven".