|Young Billy Graham ( http://www.nndb.com/people/561/000022495/)|
While the world is full of Christians, few take the
Christian faith seriously and live by it. At the beginning of Billy Graham's
life he might have considered himself a Christian. It was not until his
religious conversion at the age of sixteen that he realized the sin in his life
and his real Christian purpose. Billy Graham, born William Franklin Graham Jr.,
was born on November 7, 1918 in North Carolina to William Franklin and Morrow
Coffey Graham. Billy Graham was the first of four children and grew up in a
strict, religious home. Billy Graham is a hero because he is inspirational,
caring, and giving of his time.
Billy Graham's religious conversion happened during a
revival meeting. The sermon spoken by Mordecai Ham, a Baptist evangelist,
sparked a change in Graham. After high school Graham moved to Tennessee to
attend the Christian school, Bob Jones College. However, he did not like the
school's rigid principles and soon transferred to the Florida Bible Institute.
In 1939, while Graham was in Florida, he was ordained. After graduating from
Florida Bible Institute, he moved to Illinois and attended school at Wheaton
College for more spiritual teaching. Here, Graham met Ruth Bell. He married her
after graduation, had five children with her, and stayed as her dedicated
partner until her death in 2007. Graham was briefly a pastor at the First
Baptist Church in Western Springs, Illinois, before leaving to join Youth for
Christ, an evangelical missionary group. This group spoke to returning
servicemen and young people about God. In 1947, he became president of
Northwestern Schools. In 1948, he broke away from Youth for Christ to focus on
preaching the Gospel to others. Many people heard his powerful messages and in
1949 a group called "Christ for Greater Los Angeles" invited him to a revival.
Through Stuart Hamblen, a radio show host, the word of the revival spread and
so many people came that the revival originally planned for only three weeks
was extended for another five. Many people looked to religion after the end of
World War II. Graham spoke greatly on the evils of Communism which was a big
fear of Americans. Billy Graham said, "Either communism must die, or
Christianity must die, because it is actually a battle between Christ and
anti-Christ" (Bucheimer). Graham and his
colleagues formed the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to expand and keep
a professional ministry. They were asked by religious figures around the world
to hold religious crusades which enabled them to spread their message further
into the world.
|Bill Graham Speaking during Crusades (http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/people/billy-graham.html)|
Billy Graham's ability to speak to others and be an
inspiration to all makes him a hero. "He would become the foremost evangelical
preacher of the 20th century, a 'soul winner' whose message of sin
and salvation was heard around the world" (WGBH Educational Foundation). Many people looked up to him and
were inspired by him. Graham was considered a "soul-winner" as he inspired
people to come to Christ. According to Billy Graham Evangelistic Institute,
Graham has preached to more than one hundred million people around the world. More
than two and half million say they have found Jesus Christ in their lives
because of Graham's message. Billy Graham has inspired many to follow Jesus
Christ and trust Him with their lives through his powerful message. Billy
Graham's message is simple, but is one that comes straight from God's Word, "For God so loved the
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16, The
Holy Bible, King James Version). Billy Graham, by sharing this
message from God, has inspired many people to believe in Christ. He was
inspirational because of his ability to not only speak but live as a Christian
Billy Graham's caring personality makes him a hero. In the
course of his life, he has preached to more than two hundred million people
across the globe. He took his crusade to places a world away such as India,
Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. He has preached to jam-packed
churches and met with government and religious leaders while traveling. Graham
cared about the lowest of people to the highest. Their rank in society didn't matter
to him, all he cared about was showing them the good news of Christ and helping
them on the right path to salvation. Graham once stated that, "It seems to me
that the whole world, regardless of culture and religious tradition, is
searching for something spiritual. The most important thing that counts is what
happens in the hearts of men" (Billy Graham). Billy Graham believed that everyone is
searching for something spiritual. He wanted to be able to show them Christ
through his crusades and revivals. He cared about the hearts of people and what
happened in and to them. Billy Graham is a hero through his caring personality.
Wherever he went, he not only brought the good news of Christ but showed his
care and love for people through his deeds as well as his speaking.
Billy Graham is considered a hero because he gives much of
his time to others. Graham's ministries kept him in the spotlight. He took the
missions overseas to London and throughout Europe and preached to large crowds
for twelve weeks. After that, he preached for another sixteen weeks in New York
City to more than two million people. Billy Graham talked to people around the
worlds for a little more than half a year. Although he did not know them
personally, he cared about their salvation and spoke to them about the good
news of Jesus Christ. To do this, Graham had to give up much of his personal
time. Graham spent a lot of his days of the year preaching to others and being
away from home. Since his crusades began, he has preached at more than four
hundred rallies in almost every corner of the world. He held an average of six
crusades a year in the United States and out of the country. He sacrificed his
own time to give others the opportunity to know the love of Christ and accept
Him as their Savior. It takes a hero to give up much of their time for others.
Billy Graham's inspiration, caring heart, and his
willingness to give up his own time makes him a hero. Being a hero does not
mean becoming famous and doing some great deed that changes the world. Being a
hero means making a difference in other people's lives and making a lasting
impression in their hearts like Billy Graham accomplished. Although he may not
be well- known and to some people he seems irrelevant to their lives, more
likely than not they are reaping the benefits of something this great man has
"Billy Graham." Newsmakers.
Detroit: Gale, 1992. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 23 May
Bucheimer, Natalie. "Billy Graham: Man and
Ministry in the Fifties." Billy Graham: Man and
Ministry in the Fifties. Web. 23 May 2012.
Billy." U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E.
Rebecca Valentine. Ed. Lawrence W. Baker and Sarah Hermsen. Vol. 3. Detroit:
UXL, 2009. 640-642. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 21 May 2012.
The Holy Bible, King James Version. New York: Oxford Edition: 1769; King James Bible
Educational Foundation. "People & Ideas: Billy Graham." PBS. PBS, 11 Oct. 2010.
Web. 24 May 2012.
Graham Jr." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 6.
2004. 487-488. Gale Virtual Reference
Library. Web. 22 May 2012.
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Last edited 5/27/2012 12:00:00 AM