I have to say, I have met many wonderful Christian men and women over the years, but the godliest man I have ever met is Billy Graham—not just because of the fact that he is the greatest evangelist in human history. It’s because Billy is the same privately that he is publicly.
He often has said “I’m just a country preacher,” and though it may sound like a feigned humility, he is simply telling you the truth about himself. Raised up by God in a singular way to be a pastor to presidents and other world leaders, as well as an evangelist to the world at large, when it’s all said and done, Billy was one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever known.
When I first met him, years ago, I addressed him as Dr. Graham. He quickly laid that to rest, saying I should just call him Billy. That is the Billy Graham many never see. One of the great qualities of Billy Graham was how he would always ask about you and your family, and be genuinely interested in what you have to say, as opposed to merely talking about himself. But when you asked him questions about his experiences and encounters with historic figures, he had a razor sharp memory and you would find yourself amazed beyond belief.
He has shown so much kindness to me and my family over the years, and no other person has influenced me in evangelistic preaching more than Billy has.
After more time has passed, and the history books are written, it is my belief that Billy Graham will not be remembered only as the greatest evangelist in church history, but that he will also be remembered as a major American historic figure. He deserves that and more.
What Billy really longed for was to be reunited with his beloved wife, Ruth, in Heaven and to hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Now, he is with both Ruth and Jesus. So we celebrate for him, and we mourn the loss of a godly influence on our nation and the world.
Thank You, Lord, for the life and legacy of Billy Graham.