Dr. Billy Graham, you’ve been a personal hero, and you’ve run your race! Thank you for inspiring the world and preaching Jesus Christ the Savior and only Hope.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
II Timothy 4:7
At age 6, I attended a Billy Graham crusade at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. I’ve been struck by his words, life and calling ever since. I pray my wife and I can take up the baton, with others, preaching Christ to many with love and sterling integrity like his.
The Value of a Soul -Billy Graham’s Classic Address in D.C. Listen Here
After my deployment to the Middle East, in December 2015, Damaris and I visited the Billy Graham Retreat Center, The Cove, in Asheville, NC for a military chaplain’s retreat that they sponsored. All expenses were covered. It was like hallowed ground, set apart to refresh visitors, nestled there in the Blue Ridge mountains. We needed that.
Chatlos Memorial Chapel, pictured above is one of the places at The Cove. We loved this spot–super acoustics for singing, playing guitar or the piano. And a prayer room in a loft. We had special worship music moments with two different couples we met while exploring there.
We have often supported Dr. Graham’s son, Franklin, in his relief work through Samaritan’s Purse. They have made impact in many countries with compassionate service and Gospel-hope shared in the midst of devastation.
My Grandpa, missionary preacher and evangelist, Rev. Harold Carlson, was inspired by your life. He was known in Appalachia from the 1930s to 50s as the “Billy Graham of the Hills.”
Reverend Harold Nathaniel Carlson lived from 1910 -1966 and served in ministry over 30 years in the Coal Mining Country of Kentucky near Hazard, and later in Clinton, Iowa. He and our Grandma Verma had 7 children! The 2nd son was Tim, my dad, a retired Army Chaplain who served 28 years.
Dr. Graham, God has shone through your life in humble, potent glory. I am inspired how you closed every message with an invitation to trust Christ for salvation.
As a minister I’ve also tried to simply state as you often did, “The Bible says.” It’s His personal message to each of us you taught. And it’s words have an authority far exceeding all others in this world.
Here’s a link to a powerful message from Dr. Graham, “How to Live The Christian Life”, preached one evening among extended weeks to sold out crowds in NYC at Madison Square Garden in 1957.
According to NPR’s article, “America’s Pastor”, (Feb. 21, 2018) Dr. Graham, for over six decades, preached to more than 200 million people in 185 countries, counseled presidents and led massive outreach events in venues ranging from a circus tent in Los Angeles to Yankee Stadium in New York.
While in Okinawa, pastoring Faith Community Church at Kinser Chapel, we shared Billy Graham’s final public message with our Chapel Family. Each one got to hear Dr. Graham’s words for themselves and be moved by the truth of the Gospel Message of Christ that he shared.
Dr. Graham’s obituary from his family is available on the billygraham.org website.