My Tribute to Billy Graham

 

Rain beat down on us that spring evening in 1987, but we did not care.  We opened our

Billy Graham preached around the world

umbrellas and held them high.  Nothing would deter us from having the opportunity to sit in the choir bleachers at Williams Brice Stadium for those eight evenings Billy Graham was holding his crusades.

We arrived early each evening, as Cliff Barrow warmed the choir up and we rehearsed the choir specials for that evening.

The service was filled with guest speakers and vocalist {including Miss South Carolina 1986, Dawn Smith}, which was then followed by the deep rich baritone voice of George Beverly Shea.  Once Bev Shea was finished singing, Billy Graham stepped to the podium and preached a message of God’s love and redemption.

Tear poured down my cheeks as thousands came forward to give their life to Christ.  {I still tear up each time someone goes forward at an altar call.}

Cliff Barrows, Grady Wilson, Billy Graham and George Beverly Shea

Before we reached the stadium, my soon to be teenager self, was already familiar with Rev. Billy Graham.  I had read some of his books and heard him preach on TV.  Whenever his crusades aired, we tuned in.

Even in the years following the crusade, especially when I was a rebel, struggling to find myself and struggling with my faith and calling, I would still stop to listen any time I came across a Billy Graham crusade on TV.

Earlier this week {on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018}, Billy Graham made his final journey.  He left his earthly body for his heavenly home.   Once there he met our Lord and Savior, whom he dedicated his life to preaching and sharing the message of His {Jesus} love.  Billy was also reunited with his beloved wife, Ruth, and those on his ministry team, including his long time musical partners, Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea.

Billy and Ruth Graham

Time and again in interviews we hear the Graham family say “We will miss him, but we’re rejoicing because he is now home.”

Billy Graham lived out his calling and his faith.  In interview after interview we hear the following things said about him:

  1. Shared the message that God loves you
  2. Was the same person in private as he was in public
  3. Always humble
  4. Pointed towards the cross and away from himself
  5. Man of robust integrity
  6. Passion for his message
  7. Uniter of people
  8. Bridge Builder between people

    Billy Graham

  9. Encourager of others
  10. Mentor to young people
  11. Spoke and lived a life of honesty and truth
  12. Lived his life for the Lord
  13. Admitted when he was wrong
  14. Walked intimately with the Lord
  15. Kindness and graciousness
  16. Faithful to his calling
  17. Forgiving
  18. Man of devout faith
  19. Took an interest in the person he was speaking with
  20. Unconditional love
  21. Always gave ALL of the glory to God

 

Billy Graham wasn’t perfect, but he strived to live for his Lord and to show God’s love to others.

As he stood before the Lord, on that heavenly birthday, there is no doubt that God said

Billy Graham

“well done good and faithful servant.”

As Christians, we can strive to emulate the faith and integrity of Billy Graham.  Regardless of the calling God has placed on our lives, Billy Graham serves as a reminder that we should live it out with all of our heart and soul, in not just our words but also our actions.

In the words of a movie I recently saw, “Are you all in or all out?”  Billy Graham was definitely all in.

 

Memories from Billy Graham’s Children:

Billy Graham with his son, Franklin

Billy Graham’s New Home by Franklin Graham

Daddy’s Home by Anne Graham Lotz

My Father is in Heaven by Ruth Graham

Interview with Gigi Graham

 

 

 

Paying tribute to #BillyGraham #welldonegoodandfaithfulservant Click To Tweet

P.S. Join me later this year when Billy Graham is featured as a Hero of the Faith {the week of his 100th Birthday}

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.