Billy Graham: A Tribute from Friends

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Billy Graham's legacy is celebrated in a collection of poignant tributes and memories as leaders from the worlds of government, business, sports, entertainment and religion share their personal stories and remembrances of this remarkable man.

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Overview

Billy Graham's legacy is celebrated in a collection of poignant tributes and memories as leaders from the worlds of government, business, sports, entertainment and religion share their personal stories and remembrances of this remarkable man.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Reverend Billy Graham is perhaps the most influential religious leader in American history. The North Carolina-born evangelist has touched hundreds of millions of people with his preaching. The contributors' list of this collection of tributes gives one a sense of how momentous Graham's life has been. It includes three presidents (Ford, Carter, and Clinton) and fellow citizens such as John Ashcroft, Jerry B. Jenkins, James Dobson, Zig Ziglar, Dale Evans Rogers, and Ruth S. Peale.
Publishers Weekly
Fifty-six friends and associates offer brief odes to octogenarian evangelist Billy Graham. Many of the contributors are political luminaries: Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee describes how hearing Graham preach in 1972 changed his life, and former President Ford recalls Graham's praying for him. Not all of the contributors know Graham personally; writer Zig Ziglar describes how influential Graham has been in his own work, even though Ziglar has only seen him on television. If any 20th-century Protestant deserves a Festschrift, it is Graham. Unfortunately, because many of the entries are generic witness Senator Robert Byrd's two-paragraph statement that Graham's "faith is strong" the book quickly becomes tedious. Rather than the personal, intimate portrait of Graham that readers might hope for, they instead find reminder upon reminder that Graham hobnobbed with powerful people and shared the gospel with folks from all walks of life. A few entries particularly those by the collection's eight female authors deviate from the boilerplate, offering touching, specific memories of Graham's profound influence. Kay Arthur reflects on how many opportunities Graham's ministry has provided her to teach and write, while Millie Dienert offers a vivid account of how Graham's attitude toward finances shaped her own life, and tells a humorous story abut Billy's wife, Ruth. Elisabeth Elliot Gren recalls a trip to Jamaica with the Grahams and Johnny Cash. Despite such welcome contributions, this volume is a drab tribute to America's evangelist. (May 2) Forecast: Although this compilation pales in comparison to other books on Graham, particularly William Martin's biography, it should sell well. Print advertising is planned in major magazines such as Time and People as well as Christian publications. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446527583
  • Publisher: FaithWords
  • Publication date: 1/3/2006
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.87 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Billy Graham


By Vernon McLellan

Time Warner

Copyright © 2002 Vernon McLellan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0446529095


Introduction

It was my first staff meeting with Youth for Christ International Magazine (later to become Campus Life). I'd been invited to become the managing editor, following the illustrious Mel Larson. Several mature youth leaders were there. To be honest, I was scared-so young alongside these veterans! After president and publisher Ted Engstrom introduced me to everyone, he passed me a telegram. I tore it open excitedly and read these kind words: "Congratulations on being named editor of The Magazine. Be assured of my prayers. Billy Graham." I was overwhelmed and grateful (though flabbergasted). Suddenly I felt I belonged.

Several years later I was asked to become director of church relations of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, which Dr. Graham founded in 1974 in Switzerland. Ever since then I have followed Dr. Graham's ministry throughout the world with enthusiasm and gratitude.

Dr. Billy Graham is not only a powerful preaching patriarch, he's a friend to many in all walks of life. For more than fifty years, this humble giant has preached the simple, unchanging gospel in a candid and compassionate manner. His spiritual wisdom and counsel have influenced many in numerous countries.

Since 1947 he has led 410 crusades involving tens of thousands of churches. This man among men-who was recently knighted by Queen Elizabeth II-has convened countless worldwide conferences and conventions that have inspired, trained, and motivated more than 125,000 pastors and evangelists to preach the gospel everywhere. He has privately prayed and counseled United States presidents, from Harry S. Truman to the present. Senators, congressmen, governors, international political leaders of differing faiths, pastors and ministry heads, business and media leaders, entertainers, sportsmen, and scores of others have all been influenced by him throughout the years.

A representative group of these men and women have paid tribute in this book to this honored and respected man.

"In times like this," Dr. Graham said at the prayer service called by President George W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral on Friday, September 15, 2001, "we realize how weak and inadequate we are. Our greatest need is to turn in repentance and faith to the God of all mercy and the Father of all comfort. If ever there was a time for us to turn to God and to pray as a nation, it is now." Now, as always, Dr. Graham has continued to share comfort, peace, courage, and hope with millions.

What a privilege it has been to compile this book that honors one of the world's outstanding ministers. I hope you will be as inspired by these timely, heartfelt tributes as I have been. -Vernon McLellan

Dr. Ben Armstrong

Billy Graham is a role model. For me he first established this at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Council in May 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio, at Euclid Baptist Church. Billy and our mutual friend, Howard Jones, met for lunch.

Billy talked about his vision to reach the lost by preaching the gospel worldwide. It was a vision I have never forgotten. Not only did Billy have a vision for worldwide evangelism according to biblical mandates but he displayed "fire in the belly" for reaching people regardless of color or background.

Billy talked about his radio program Songs in the Night. That inspired me toward my own subsequent ministry in radio. Later Billy Graham initiated his Hour of Decision with the help of Walter Bennett in Chicago and Fred Dienert of Philadelphia.

The result: Howard Jones joined Billy as an associate evangelist with earth-shaking achievements. Howard went to Liberia as a missionary and around the world with crusades and radio.

I was moved to tears by Billy Graham's vision of world evangelization in May 1945. It changed the course of my life. In a sense I became "radio active" for the Lord.

I helped my brother-in-law, Paul Freed, to found an international radio ministry I named Trans World Radio. For many years I labored as a TWR radio missionary in New Jersey and in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

In 1967 I founded the first national office of National Religious Broadcasters in my home basement in Madison, N.J. Sometimes discouraged during twenty-three years as executive director at National Religious Broadcasters, I never forgot Billy Graham's vision of reaching lost people. Daily prayers renewed the vision again and again.

In 1974 I was asked by Billy Graham to lead the radio/TV office of the International Congress of World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland. During the meetings attended by global leaders I moderated the news conferences featuring Dr. Graham. Billy dealt courageously with strategic world issues and was always steadfastly true to the gospel as the revealed Word of God.

During the Lausanne Congress I asked Billy: "What is your key to success in evangelism?" He said: "I am greatly helped in reaching the audience by radio and TV. But every time I speak I have three objectives: (1) gain attention by dealing with the great issues of the day; (2) focus on the gospel, expressing it as clearly as I can; and (3) think about it, but always ask for a decision.

As I quote in my book The Electric Church (Thomas Nelson, 1979) Billy discussed his key to success in the Los Angeles Crusade in 1949. Billy said: "The crowds are larger, the interest is deeper and the response is greater. I attribute this to the power of the Holy Spirit and also to the broadcasting media open to us.... A great factor in the religious resurgence in this country is religious radio and television."

As executive director of National Religious Broadcasters I invited top speakers from religion and government. The most popular and frequent convention speaker was Billy Graham, keynoter from 1968 to 1989. He brought the BGEA team, including song director Cliff Barrows, soloist Beverly Shea, Howard Jones, and musicians.

At NRB you could hear Billy Graham and also a speech from the U.S. president, President Ford to President Bush.

To have Billy Graham and the president of the United States speak at NRB each year meant that religious broadcasters whatever their persuasion-fundamentalist, pentecostal, mainline, conservative, Catholic, or Protestant-attended. Mitchell includes a photo in his book Billy Graham, Saint or Sinner (Revell, 1979). This photo shows Billy at the NRB podium at NRB '78 with Bishop Fulton Sheen, the famous Catholic TV personality, behind him. Before the 1978 convention Bishop Sheen phoned asking me if he could attend to hear Dr. Billy Graham. Immediately I invited him to the closing banquet. After Dr. Graham's message the bishop leaned over and said to me, "What a powerful message!"

Ben Armstrong is vice president of Norstar, America's first commercial Ka-Band satellite. Before that he serves as president of Madison Broadcasting Group, Inc., and earlier as executive director of National Religious Broadcasters. He authored The Electric Church.

Wally Armstrong

My alcoholic father's coming to Jesus Christ was the greatest miracle of my life. For years he was abusive and critical of my mother and me about following Jesus.

After major cancer surgery he began reading the Bible. We saw a change in his life. He called me aside one day prior to facing more surgery, and said, "Son, a few weeks ago I took your mother down to the arena to attend a Billy Graham crusade. Dr. Graham spoke about God's love for me. He said when God forgives you He not only takes the slate of all your sins and erases it, but He takes the slate and throws it away, forever. This was the kind of forgiveness I needed. After hearing that, I took your mother's hand and we went forward and I committed my life to Jesus Christ. You do not have to worry about me. I know where I'm going."

Before Dad passed away from cancer a few months later, the last words I heard from him were those from a simple song he sang that he probably learned as a little child: "Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong." I wept and joy filled my soul knowing that I would see him again someday.

I am so grateful that God has so richly given Billy Graham to the world, and for the role that Billy played in being part of the greatest miracle of my life.

Wally Armstrong, president of Gator Golf Enterprises, Inc., has been a professional golfer and instructor since 1968, having competed in more than three hundred PGA Tour events. He set a rookie record in his first Masters. Because of his exceptionally consistent record, Mr. Armstrong was awarded a lifetime membership in the PGA Tour.

Kay Arthur

I have never attended a Billy Graham Crusade in person-in fact when I came to Jesus Christ at the age of twenty-nine in 1963 I really had never heard of Billy Graham, as strange as that may sound. I've only watched the BG crusades on television about two or three times. Billy and I have never personally talked more than about three times and that was never in great depth. Yet the fruit of this man's life, the spiritual by-products of the Billy Graham Association, the friendship of his various staff members, his wife, daughters, and grandchildren, and getting to know Franklin and his wife while at the Cove have all imprinted my life and my ministry.

When I reflect on Billy's impact (and it has been an impact!) on my life, I realize that it's not because of knowing him personally but of benefiting from the sum total of the way God has used him, which to me is a far greater tribute to this dear man's life.

As the cofounder of Precept Ministries International with my husband, Jack, I have learned so much about:

1. Relationships-maintaining long-term staff who know you for who you are and respect you but who are honest and objective, with no "stars in their eyes."

2. Integrity-in finances, in personal guidelines that help keep one beyond reproach more. How I appreciate Billy's honesty and the admonition that accompanies it.

3. Openness-Ruth's vulnerability, her sharing her struggles in her family, and the writing of her book about Franklin, the prodigal, all ministered to me before our own prodigal returned home.

4. Graciousness-the importance of the individual. When I first talked with Billy, I felt like he should be talking with others more important than me. But he never made me feel that way. There is a graciousness about Ruth and Billy that is winsome and that causes you to want to be and do the same.

I've had the privilege of partnership with the BGEA: books that I authored were offered by them, I teach at the Cove (and it's like home), I've written for Decision Magazine, and I serve on an advisory board for the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. What does this say-what is the message? The message is that Billy never intended to be the star but rather one member of the body operating in his gifts and working with others in the body for the glory of the One to whom all glory belongs.

As I stand in the halls at the Cove and study the exciting pictures of Billy's beginnings as an evangelist, it's like reading Hebrews II-my heart is stirred to press on towards the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ. Billy is one of my heroes of faith.

Kay Arthur, along with her husband, Jack, is the founder of Precept Ministries International, a group that conducts conferences and funds institutes to train people in the Word of God. Today it serves in 118 countries in over sixty-three languages. Mrs. Arthur has written over forty books including How to Study Your Bible.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Billy Graham by Vernon McLellan Copyright © 2002 by Vernon McLellan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Dr. Ben Armstrong 3
Wally Armstrong 7
Kay Arthur 9
Dr. David Breese 13
Dr. Bill Bright 15
Vonette Zachary Bright 19
George H. W. Bush 23
Robert Byrd 27
Ralph Carmichael 29
Jimmy Carter 33
Dr. David Yonggi Cho 35
Bill Clinton 37
Daniel Coats 41
Charles W. Colson 43
Dr. W. A. Criswell 47
Paul Crouch 49
Millie Dienert 53
Dr. James C. Dobson 57
Dr. Ted Engstrom 59
Dr. Anthony Evans 63
Patrick F. Flores 67
Gerald R. Ford 71
Robert A. Funk 75
Doris Greig 79
Elisabeth Elliot Gren 83
Larnelle Harris 85
Morris Hatalsky 87
Mark O. Hatfield 89
Dr. Jack Hayford 93
Jesse Helms 99
Mike Huckabee 103
Dr. John A. Huffman 107
Jerry B. Jenkins 111
Dr. D. James Kennedy 115
Dr. Billy (Jang Hwan) Kim 117
Steve Largent 119
Dr. Roy B. McKeown 121
Dr. Billy A. Melvin 125
Dr. Stephen Olford 129
Dr. Juan Carlos Ortiz 135
Luis Palau 137
Ruth Stafford Peale 141
Sir Cliff Richard 143
Bobby Richardson 145
Dr. Oral Roberts 149
Dr. M. G. "Pat" Robertson 153
James Robison 157
Dale Evans Rogers 163
Dick Ross 165
Dr. Robert H. Schuller 169
Robert H. Straton 173
Joni Eareckson Tada 177
Dr. Kenneth Taylor 181
Dr. Yip Yan Wong 187
Louis Zamperini 191
Zig Ziglar 195
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Introduction

It was my first staff meeting with Youth for Christ International Magazine (later to become Campus Life). I'd been invited to become the managing editor, following the illustrious Mel Larson. Several mature youth leaders were there. To be honest, I was scared-so young alongside these veterans! After president and publisher Ted Engstrom introduced me to everyone, he passed me a telegram. I tore it open excitedly and read these kind words: "Congratulations on being named editor of The Magazine. Be assured of my prayers. Billy Graham." I was overwhelmed and grateful (though flabbergasted). Suddenly I felt I belonged.

Several years later I was asked to become director of church relations of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, which Dr. Graham founded in 1974 in Switzerland. Ever since then I have followed Dr. Graham's ministry throughout the world with enthusiasm and gratitude.

Dr. Billy Graham is not only a powerful preaching patriarch, he's a friend to many in all walks of life. For more than fifty years, this humble giant has preached the simple, unchanging gospel in a candid and compassionate manner. His spiritual wisdom and counsel have influenced many in numerous countries.

Since 1947 he has led 410 crusades involving tens of thousands of churches.This man among men-who was recently knighted by Queen Elizabeth II-has convened countless worldwide conferences and conventions that have inspired, trained, and motivated more than 125,000 pastors and evangelists to preach the gospel everywhere. He has privately prayed and counseled United States presidents, from Harry S.Truman to the present. Senators, congressmen, governors, international political leaders of differing faiths, pastors and ministry heads, business and media leaders, entertainers, sportsmen, and scores of others have all been influenced by him throughout the years.

A representative group of these men and women have paid tribute in this book to this honored and respected man.

"In times like this," Dr. Graham said at the prayer service called by President George W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral on Friday, September 15, 2001,"we realize how weak and inadequate we are. Our greatest need is to turn in repentance and faith to the God of all mercy and the Father of all comfort. If ever there was a time for us to turn to God and to pray as a nation, it is now."Now, as always, Dr. Graham has continued to share comfort, peace, courage, and hope with millions.

What a privilege it has been to compile this book that honors one of the world's outstanding ministers. I hope you will be as inspired by these timely, heartfelt tributes as I have been.

-Vernon McLellan

Dr. Ben Armstrong

Billy Graham is a role model. For me he first established this at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Council in May 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio, at Euclid Baptist Church. Billy and our mutual friend, Howard Jones, met for lunch.

Billy talked about his vision to reach the lost by preaching the gospel worldwide. It was a vision I have never forgotten. Not only did Billy have a vision for worldwide evangelism according to biblical mandates but he displayed "fire in the belly" for reaching people regardless of color or background.

Billy talked about his radio program Songs in the Night. That inspired me toward my own subsequent ministry in radio. Later Billy Graham initiated his Hour of Decision with the help of Walter Bennett in Chicago and Fred Dienert of Philadelphia.

The result: Howard Jones joined Billy as an associate evangelist with earth-shaking achievements.Howard went to Liberia as a missionary and around the world with crusades and radio.

I was moved to tears by Billy Graham's vision of world evangelization in May 1945. It changed the course of my life. In a sense I became "radio active" for the Lord.

I helped my brother-in-law, Paul Freed, to found an international radio ministry I named Trans World Radio. For many years I labored as a TWR radio missionary in New Jersey and in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

In 1967 I founded the first national office of National Religious Broadcasters in my home basement in Madison, N.J. Sometimes discouraged during twenty-three years as executive director at National Religious Broadcasters, I never forgot Billy Graham's vision of reaching lost people. Daily prayers renewed the vision again and again.

In 1974 I was asked by Billy Graham to lead the radio/TV office of the International Congress of World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland. During the meetings attended by global leaders I moderated the news conferences featuring Dr. Graham. Billy dealt courageously with strategic world issues and was always steadfastly true to the gospel as the revealed Word of God.

During the Lausanne Congress I asked Billy: "What is your key to success in evangelism?" He said: "I am greatly helped in reaching the audience by radio and TV. But every time I speak I have three objectives: (1) gain attention by dealing with the great issues of the day; (2) focus on the gospel, expressing it as clearly as I can; and (3) think about it, but always ask for a decision.

As I quote in my book The Electric Church (Thomas Nelson, 1979) Billy discussed his key to success in the Los Angeles Crusade in 1949. Billy said:"The crowds are larger, the interest is deeper and the response is greater. I attribute this to the power of the Holy Spirit and also to the broadcasting media open to us....A great factor in the religious resurgence in this country is religious radio and television."

As executive director of National Religious Broadcasters I invited top speakers from religion and government. The most popular and frequent convention speaker was Billy Graham, keynoter from 1968 to 1989. He brought the BGEA team, including song director Cliff Barrows, soloist Beverly Shea, Howard Jones, and musicians.

At NRB you could hear Billy Graham and also a speech from the U.S. president, President Ford to President Bush.

To have Billy Graham and the president of the United States speak at NRB each year meant that religious broadcasters whatever their persuasion-fundamentalist, pentecostal, mainline, conservative, Catholic, or Protestant-attended. Mitchell includes a photo in his book Billy Graham, Saint or Sinner (Revell, 1979). This photo shows Billy at the NRB podium at NRB '78 with Bishop Fulton Sheen, the famous Catholic TV personality, behind him. Before the 1978 convention Bishop Sheen phoned asking me if he could attend to hear Dr. Billy Graham. Immediately I invited him to the closing banquet.After Dr. Graham's message the bishop leaned over and said to me, "What a powerful message!"

Ben Armstrong is vice president of Norstar, America's first commercial Ka-Band satellite. Before that he serves as president of Madison Broadcasting Group, Inc., and earlier as executive director of National Religious Broadcasters. He authored The Electric Church.

Wally Armstrong

My alcoholic father's coming to Jesus Christ was the greatest miracle of my life. For years he was abusive and critical of my mother and me about following Jesus.

After major cancer surgery he began reading the Bible.We saw a change in his life. He called me aside one day prior to facing more surgery, and said, "Son, a few weeks ago I took your mother down to the arena to attend a Billy Graham crusade. Dr. Graham spoke about God's love for me. He said when God forgives you He not only takes the slate of all your sins and erases it, but He takes the slate and throws it away, forever.This was the kind of forgiveness I needed. After hearing that, I took your mother's hand and we went forward and I committed my life to Jesus Christ.You do not have to worry about me. I know where I'm going."

Before Dad passed away from cancer a few months later, the last words I heard from him were those from a simple song he sang that he probably learned as a little child: "Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong.They are weak but He is strong." I wept and joy filled my soul knowing that I would see him again someday.

I am so grateful that God has so richly given Billy Graham to the world, and for the role that Billy played in being part of the greatest miracle of my life.

Wally Armstrong, president of Gator Golf Enterprises, Inc., has been a professional golfer and instructor since 1968, having competed in more than three hundred PGA Tour events. He set a rookie record in his first Masters. Because of his exceptionally consistent record, Mr. Armstrong was awarded a lifetime membership in the PGA Tour.

Kay Arthur

I have never attended a Billy Graham Crusade in person—in fact when I came to Jesus Christ at the age of twenty-nine in 1963 I really had never heard of Billy Graham, as strange as that may sound. I've only watched the BG crusades on television about two or three times. Billy and I have never personally talked more than about three times and that was never in great depth.Yet the fruit of this man's life, the spiritual by-products of the Billy Graham Association, the friendship of his various staff members, his wife, daughters, and grandchildren, and getting to know Franklin and his wife while at the Cove have all imprinted my life and my ministry.

When I reflect on Billy's impact (and it has been an impact!) on my life, I realize that it's not because of knowing him personally but of benefiting from the sum total of the way God has used him, which to me is a far greater tribute to this dear man's life.

As the cofounder of Precept Ministries International with my husband, Jack, I have learned so much about:

1. Relationships—maintaining long-term staff who know you for who you are and respect you but who are honest and objective, with no "stars in their eyes."

2. Integrity—in finances, in personal guidelines that help keep one beyond reproach more. How I appreciate Billy's honesty and the admonition that accompanies it.

3. Openness—Ruth's vulnerability, her sharing her struggles in her family, and the writing of her book about Franklin, the prodigal, all ministered to me before our own prodigal returned home.

4. Graciousness—the importance of the individual. When I first talked with Billy, I felt like he should be talking with others more important than me. But he never made me feel that way.There is a graciousness about Ruth and Billy that is winsome and that causes you to want to be and do the same.

I've had the privilege of partnership with the BGEA: books that I authored were offered by them, I teach at the Cove (and it's like home), I've written for Decision Magazine, and I serve on an advisory board for the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. What does this say-what is the message? The message is that Billy never intended to be the star but rather one member of the body operating in his gifts and working with others in the body for the glory of the One to whom all glory belongs.

As I stand in the halls at the Cove and study the exciting pictures of Billy's beginnings as an evangelist, it's like reading Hebrews II-my heart is stirred to press on towards the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ. Billy is one of my heroes of faith.

Kay Arthur, along with her husband, Jack, is the founder of Precept Ministries International, a group that conducts conferences and funds institutes to train people in the Word of God.Today it serves in 118 countries in over sixty-three languages. Mrs. Arthur has written over forty books including How to Study Your Bible.

Copyright © 2002 by Vernon McLellan

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