Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

America's most-loved evangelist Billy Graham dies

AP Graphics Bank AP Graphics Bank
Patty Aguilar | 22 February, 2018, 04:20

President John F. Kennedy talks with evangelist Billy Graham at the annual "Presidential Prayer Breakfast" in a Washington hotel, February 9, 1961. In 2001, he comforted his country and the world when he spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Over the next 30 years Graham preached a message that remained relevant and compelling, despite a cultural and political landscape that seemed to be drifting farther away from the values he championed.

Evangelist Billy Graham, left, helps President-elect Richard Nixon with his overcoat after they attended services at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church, in NY, on January 5, 1969.

Among Graham's most remarkable accomplishments, he's counseled every U.S. President from Harry S Truman to Barack Obama. Back then, "Billy Frank", as he was called, preferred baseball to religion. I shall be more alive than I am now.

But in 1934, that changed.

Director Angelina Jolie's film version of "Unbroken" does not include Zamperini's tent revival experience with Graham, so he collaborated with Zamperini to tell the rest of the story in a short film titled, "Captured by Grace". His health declined. Still, he kept writing, and in his last book (The Reason for My Hope, 2013), he demonstrated again his conviction and courage, writing what few others would be willing to say in these politically correct times. He beamed and said, "They're having a birthday party for me". "I will have gone into the presence of God".

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"When he came here he was really going deeper in the word of God and he really attributes a lot of his passion, authority and confidence in the gospel from what he heard in the classroom at the college", said Mark O'Farrell, President Trinity College.

"Once, when visiting the royal family at Sandringham in 1984, Ruth and I walked past a woman wearing an old raincoat, Wellingtons, and a scarf; she was bent over fixing some food for the dogs", Graham wrote. The couple graduated and married in the summer of 1943.

Graham, 99, died just before 8 a.m. today at his home in Montreat, N.C.

Graham's career took off in 1949 during a major crusade in Los Angeles, when the California newspaper baron, William Randolph Hearst, favoring Graham's anti-Communism, instructed his reporters to "puff Graham". The organization has also recognized the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association with NRB awards over the years. Since 2000, Graham's son, Franklin, has led the Charlotte-based organization, which employs some 500 people worldwide.

"People don't know how the queen struck up this friendship with an old-time American evangelist".

"God kept his promise", Zamperini said in his biography (Deseretnews.com).

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