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Ask Billy Graham
By Bill Adler
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 Bill Adler
All right reserved.
Chapter OneOn Celebrity
What is the upside of being famous?
"I have said hundreds of thousands of times, on the radio and television, please write to us, 'Billy Graham, Minneapolis, Minnesota.' Then I would say, 'That's all the address you need.' ... But we've gotten letters here that said 'Billy Graham, Somewhere in the World.'" -Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), June 20, 1996
What has been the downside of being so well known?
"We had the FBI come sometime in the middle 1950s when I was getting a lot of hate mail and a lot of threats. And they said you should have a fence around your place. We hated it. We found it also gave us a lot of privacy, which we have needed from time to time. It doesn't do much good, because anybody who wants to can come see us." -Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee), September 28, 1996
Who is responsible for your notoriety?
"I think the media and the papers have put me on a pedestal I don't deserve to be on. I'm not a great preacher. I'm just an ordinary proclaimer of the Gospel." -The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC), September 25, 1996
What was the real meaning of the star that you received in Hollywood?
(To celebrate his fortieth anniversary in the ministry, he received a sidewalk star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star's placement, the last open spot in front of Mann's Chinese Theater, was much coveted by some stars who were passed over for this location.)
"This star today is not a mark to recognize a man, but a marking for the glory of God. What this star represents is the faithfulness of God.... I feel somewhat out of place because I'm not sure that a clergyman belongs here ... I feel a little lonely out there." -Associated Press, October 16, 1989; Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1989
At first you turned down the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but you changed your mind. Why?
"A star was offered to me 30 years ago, and I said, 'no,' then. But I've changed my views. Some parents walking along there someday in the future might be asked by their child, 'Who was Billy Graham?' And they could say, 'He preached the Gospel.'" -Los Angeles Times, October 14, 1989
How do you handle complete strangers coming over to you in restaurants?
"I go to different restaurants dressed in old clothes. I wear blue jeans, but people are beginning to recognize me, no matter how I'm dressed now. And they come up to us and talk, or I invite them over to the table to sit down and talk." -The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), April 29, 1989
How do you feel about people exalting you?
"People shouldn't put me up on a pedestal. When I think about the times I failed the Lord, I feel this low [as the floor].... I'm praying that this book [the Bible] will honor and glorify God, not me." -South Bend Tribune (Indiana), May 5, 2003
How do you feel about being called "Reverend" or "Doctor"?
"I don't find anywhere in the Bible that anybody was called reverend except God. I never liked the term doctor, because I do not have an earned doctor's degree, and I have great respect for those who do." -The San Diego Union-Tribune, May 4, 2003
Excerpted from Ask Billy Graham by Bill Adler Copyright © 2007 by Bill Adler. Excerpted by permission.
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