Billy Graham The Speech That Broke The Internet
Written by admin on March 27, 2019
Evangelist Billy Graham took Christ literally when He said in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Mr. Graham preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories—through various meetings, including Mission World and Global Mission. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts. Beginning with the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade, which vaulted Mr. Graham into the public eye, he led hundreds of thousands of individuals to make personal decisions to live for Christ, the main thrust of his decades-long ministry. Born November 7, 1918, four days before the Armistice ended World War I, Mr. Graham was reared on a dairy farm in Charlotte, N.C. Growing up during the Depression, he learned the value of hard work on the family farm, but he also found time to spend many hours in the hayloft reading books on a wide variety of subjects. In the fall of 1934, at age 15, Mr. Graham made a personal commitment to Christ through the ministry of Mordecai Ham, a traveling evangelist, who visited Charlotte for a series of revival meetings. Ordained in 1939 by Peniel Baptist Church in Palatka, Fla. (a church in the Southern Baptist Convention), Mr. Graham received a solid foundation in the Scriptures at Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College of Florida). In 1943 he graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and married fellow student Ruth McCue Bell, daughter of a missionary surgeon, who spent the first 17 years of her life in China. After graduating from college, Mr. Graham pastored The Village Church of Western Springs (now Western Springs Baptist Church) in Western Springs, Ill., before joining Youth for Christ, an organization founded for ministry to youth and servicemen during World War II. He preached throughout the United States and in Europe in the immediate post war era, emerging as a rising young evangelist. The Los Angeles Crusade in 1949 launched Mr. Graham into international prominence. Scheduled for three weeks, the meetings were extended to more than eight weeks, with overflow crowds filling a tent erected downtown each night. Many of his subsequent early Crusades were similarly extended, including one in London that lasted 12 weeks, and a New York City Crusade in Madison Square Garden in 1957 that ran nightly for 16 weeks. Today, Mr. Graham’s ministry is known around the globe. He preached in remote African villages and in the heart of New York City, and those to whom he ministered have ranged from heads of state to the simple living bushmen of Australia and the wandering tribes of Africa and the Middle East. Beginning in 1977, Mr. Graham was given the opportunity to conduct preaching missions in virtually every country of the former Eastern bloc, including the former Soviet Union. In 2013, Mr. Graham had the vision for proclaiming the Gospel across the United States and Canada, prompting the implementation of My Hope with Billy Graham, a grassroots evangelism outreach combining personal relationships with the power of modern media. Based upon a pioneering outreach that had already resulted in millions of decisions for Christ around the world since 2002, churches and individual Christians across the two countries were encouraged and equipped to pray and reach out to friends, family and neighbors using a powerful new film from BGEA. Approaching 95 years of age, Mr. Graham recorded a new video message, called “The Cross,” for the project, which was made available for use in homes and churches as a tool for sharing the Gospel. Mr. Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) in 1950, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., until relocating to Charlotte, N.C., in 2003. Through BGEA’s ministry, Mr. Graham started:
- the weekly “Hour of Decision” radio program, which was heard around the world for more than 60 years;
- television programs that are still broadcast today on national Christian networks.
- a syndicated newspaper column, “My Answer,” which is carried by newspapers both nationally and internationally; and
- “Decision” magazine, the official publication of the Association, which has a circulation of more than 425,000, making it one of the most widely circulated religious periodicals in the world;