My “Billy Graham” story

Hello Friends, blessings!  I hope you have been well.

Image credit: Instagram / Franklin Graham

This past Friday, Rev. Billy Graham was laid to rest beside his beloved wife Ruth at the Billy Graham Library.  A repeating theme during the time his life was remembered and celebrated is that almost everyone has a “Billy Graham” story!  Here’s mine:

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In my last 4 years of high school (over here, the first year would be considered middle school), I went to large private school where it has a huge two-story library.  I belonged to the Library Club where the students from time to time had to work at the library.  One day I was assigned to dust and re-arrange some books at one of the bottom shelves of a bookcase where virtually few perused.  And it was there I found a rather old and dusty book by a man named Billy Graham.  I didn’t know a thing about the man, and I actually don’t remember the title.  It would be either “Heaven” or “Peace with God”.  I tend to think it’s the latter.  Nonetheless, I vividly remember being riveted to the pages of the book, and I spent many days pondering on teachings in the book after I read it.  For a Christian teenager in a non-Christian environment, Rev. Graham’s book encouraged me greatly.  And that encouragement saw me through the rest of my schooling years until I came to America.

Years later, I found myself working at a small Christian library when I was in college.  While pilfering through books in the library, this time I came across books written by Rev. Graham’s wife Ruth!  I loved Mrs. Garaham’s books, and read most, if not all, of her books while in college.  Mrs. Graham’s “It’s My Turn” is one of my all-time favorites.  Having never met her, I was struck by the warmth, compassion and honesty communicated through the pages.  And as with many, Mrs. Graham instantly became my lifelong role model.

The crazy thing is that I knew Rev. Billy Graham spoke to many, but I never quite appreciated just how far-reaching his lifelong ministry was until after the numbers started surfacing in the news upon his passing.  What a life and journey — used for God and His glory!

“Some day you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” — Rev. Billy Graham

It was a few days before Rev. Billy Graham changed his address, I started listening to his sermons from the late 40’s and 50’s.  I remember telling my husband how struck I was to see how seriously Mr. Graham took the message he sought to share with the world with the rapid fire pleas for people to be reconciled to God.

I have been following closely the historic remembrance of Rev. Graham’s life the last 10 days or so, and my own faith has been greatly encouraged and inspired.  I have also been able to introduce to Miss Baby a man God used in my life, and now in her life.

My “Billy Graham story” isn’t a dramatic one, but it was one that sustains the simple faith of a teenage girl through the years.  I am immensely thankful to God for the life of Rev. Billy Graham.  It’s been incredible to watch even in his death, God is using the remembrance of his life to share the message of love and hope in Christ.

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If you haven’t had a chance to read Rev. Franklin Graham’s tribute to his father, it’s worth a read — click here.

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Do you have a Billy Graham story?  Please feel free to share.

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21 thoughts on “My “Billy Graham” story

  1. Your Billy Graham story is also a part of your story. You are an inspiring person in your own right. I love that you share your love for faith, history and family. Thank you for also sharing your talents.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. So many times he was able touch and change people’s lives without meeting them. He truly was a man of God. Stephanie

    Sent from my iPhone

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  3. I was raised in a family who followed Billy Graham since I was small. We used to gather around the TV to watch his crusades and if he was preaching in our area, we always went as a family to hear him speak. As a teenager, there was a group of us who used to meet outside of regular Sunday night youth group meetings. We called ourselves “Graham Crackers”…. at 13, you think everything is funny. My parents were not so fond of the name but went along with it. A few months after our group began meeting, our pastor brought us a box that had been delivered to the church for us. Upon opening, there was a lovely note from Billy Graham and a case of graham crackers! Wow……
    This man had a huge impact on my life and firmly set me in the direction of my faith. Such a wonderful gift that he gave to so many.

  4. Wendy,
    I do have a wonderful story to share about Billy Graham and how it changed our lives.
    My husband grew up in southern MN. When he was in Jr. high his youth pastor took the teens to a Billy Graham movie. As always, after the movie , someone shared with the teens how they could know for sure that they were saved and gave an opportunity for anyone who had never before accepted Jesus Christ as their own personal savior to come forward. My husband went forward that day and accepted Christ as his personal savior.
    When he was in 10th grade he moved to my home town in central MN. He shared the gospel with me in that I was lost and needed to trust Christ and Christ alone to save me. That all my good works could not save me. It was years later when we were living in Okinawa Japan that I accepted Christ as my personal savior. He not only gave me eternal life but also the joy and peace that passes all understanding.
    Thank you Wendy for sharing and for the opportunity for me to share about Billy Graham.
    Respectfully,
    Barbara

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. An example of how God works in “mysterious ways?” Awesome. I also have read books by Anne Graham Lotz and attended her conferences. She too is a wonderful speaker and writer and so very humble. What an inspiring family! Oh and I also attended a presentation many years ago by her sister, and I have attended presentations by Franklin, here in New Mexico.

  6. That is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing! I found Ruth Bell Graham’s book, ‘It’s My Turn’ at a thrift store one day and took it home like a treasure. I love that book too! There’s also one she wrote called ‘Our Christmas Story’. Every Christmas morning I read just the first chapter, where she tells of her home in Montreat, and what she ate for breakfast on Christmas morning back in China. It’s a delight! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kC89WA3hmo

  7. Thanks for sharing your story! I grew up in a home that watched the televised Billy Graham revivals, but, I finally, as an adult, saw him in person in San Antonio , um, a few years ago, at one of his evangelism conferences. What a powerful speaker he was.

  8. Love this post! My husband and I were fortunate to be able to visit the home place where the funeral was held. If you ever have a chance, it is worth the time to walk through and follow his ministry from the beginning, watch the movie, etc. His gentle message and manner changed many lives and it is a moving experience to visit the chapel, etc. My most exciting Christian encounter, however, was meeting Corrie Ten Boom while we lived in the Netherlands in the early ’70s. We also were able to visit “The Hiding Place.” If you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend it. When you see where the Jews were hidden (so tiny!) and hear how they suffered in the concentration camp, you hear of true faith in action. Thanks for the day brightener!

  9. Love your Billy Graham story, Wendy. Yes, I have a story, too. My father accepted Christ at the Billy Graham Crusade at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1963. That was the same summer I accepted Christ at Hume Lake Christian Camps. My pop’s decision changed the course of our family for good. When Katie was attending Wheaton College I enjoyed going through the Billy Graham center there. Loved seeing the photo from Los Angeles Coliseum and the Crusade we attended every night. Hope you have a good week!

  10. Thank you ever so much for that post. In these times it is so blessed to hear that there are people who feel and believe as many of us do. It seems that some are ashamed to speak out for God. Listening to Billy Graham one night in my home I ended up on the floor crying. It changed my life for ever. He was my pathway to Christ,

  11. I always held Billy Graham in high esteem, even before giving my life to Christ. He was an honorable man, greatly used of the Lord, and it is a blessing to see his family continue serving.
    Thank you for pointing out the books by Mrs. Graham. I’ve never read one of hers, but I think I might now after reading how she, too, touched your life.
    I thank you for your post; it truly is an encouragement.

  12. Beautiful Wendy! And what a great man of God Billy Graham was. The week after his passing, there was a huge billboard on a main road in our town. A picture of Rev Graham with the words WELL DONE beneath. God certainly used the his life, and hopefully people who saw the billboard would be curious to know what he did that was well done.

  13. Thanks for sharing that, Wendy! Thanks also for linking to Frnakin’s remarks. I can’t think of a particular Billy Graham story. I remember seeing him on TV a time or two, and I have a book in my Kindle by his wife about prodigals. I’ve enjoyed hearing the stories related to him since his passing.

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