“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
“Sincere Christians can disagree about the details of Scripture and theology--absolutely.”
“Suffering is part of the human condition, and it comes to us all. The key is how we react to it, either turning away from God in anger and bitterness or growing closer to Him in trust and confidence.”
“It is not the bodyís posture, but the heartís attitude that counts when we pray.”
“Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love.”
“God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.”
“I am convinced that when a man sincerely searches for God with all his heart, God will reveal Himself in some way.”
“All my life I've been taught how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old.”
“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, everything is lost.”
The world-famous man known as "Americaís Preacher" was born in 1918, four days after Armistice Day, on November 7th in North Carolina. William "Billy" F. Graham, grew up during the depression, and experienced numerous difficulties on his parentís dairy farm. From an early age this taught Billy the value of hard work, and uniting with people to help one another in times of challenge. At the age of 15, Grahamís life forever changed when he became a believer in Jesus Christ. Driven by his conviction about truth and his relationship with Jesus, Billy Graham was determined to be an evangelist and attended Wheaton College in Illinois, where he graduated 1943. Shortly thereafter, Graham married his fellow student Ruth McCue Bell, who grew up as a missionary in China and also wanted to devote her life to spreading the gospel.
Together the newlyweds began ministry at once, and Graham pastured the First Baptist Church in Western Springs, IL, thereafter joining Youth for Christ (designed to minister to young servicemen during WWII). Following the war, Graham and his wife traveled through the US and Europe, where he preached to audiences in the thousands, gaining him international recognition as fervent and captivating evangelist.
In 1949, the Los Angeles Crusade exceeded expectations, as Graham was scheduled to speak for 3 weeks in a downtown Los Angeles pavilion. Because numbers were far beyond capacity, the meetings extended over 8 weeks as crowds overflowed the tent. This became a familiar experience for the evangelist and his team, and continued through many of his travels and teaching engagements across the years. One of his early crusades in London extended over 12 weeks, and in the 1957 teachings in Madison Square Garden of New York City, Graham spoke every night for 16 weeks. The hunger for hope was overwhelming, and the global audience increased as Graham rose to the scene, inspiring spiritual revival across the world.
Billy Graham preached the gospel all over the world, giving weekly broadcasts called "Hour of Decision" for more than 60 years, has written over 32 book, several of which went on to be top sellers. Graham's 1977 publication "How to Be Born Again" had the largest first printing in publishing history, totaling 800,000 copies. Other works sold over a million copies in just a few months. Graham has given counsel to presidents, secular dignitaries, and religious leaders alike. Graham was given an honorary knighthood, Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), for his contribution to religious life over six decades. He has won numerous awards including the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Freedom Award (2000), the Congressional Gold Medal (1996), and in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, was awarded the Speaker of the Year cited by the George Washington Carver Memorial Institute for his notable work in race relations.
Graham has been highlighted in the media by appearing in several documentaries, and has been featured on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Life, U.S. News and World Report, and Parade magazines.
He lost his ministry partner and wife, Ruth Bell Graham in June 2007, but he remains active, preaching and speaking through video, and is determined to continue until his life on earth is over.
Grahamís voice in the 20th and 21st century has had a profound impact on a diverse audience. He has published numerous books, given thousands of lectures, and spoken to millions of people. His message is simple, telling of Jesus Christ's love, His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead. But simplicity spoken from the sincerity of an eloquent, erstwhile farm boy has changed millions of lives over many generations.