Billy Graham

by Mikayla from San Diego

Young Billy Graham (
Young Billy Graham (

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 (
Bill Graham Speaking during Crusades (

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 example.

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 done.

Works Consulted

"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.

"Graham, Billy." U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr.,

and 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

             Online, 2008.

WGBH Educational Foundation. "People & Ideas: Billy Graham." PBS. PBS, 11 Oct. 2010.

Web. 24 May 2012. .

"William Franklin Graham Jr." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 6. Detroit: Gale,

             2004. 487-488. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 22 May 2012.


Page created on 5/27/2012 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/27/2012 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.