God's Ambassador: A Celebration of His Life and Ministry

God's Ambassador: A Celebration of His Life and Ministry

by Billy Graham
     
 

For over sixty years, Billy Graham has traveled the world preaching the Gospel face-to-face to more than one hundred million people. Across the globe in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia, and Africa, his crusades have broken stadium attendance records. And with the advent of radio, television, and satellite broadcasts, Graham has reached more than

Overview

For over sixty years, Billy Graham has traveled the world preaching the Gospel face-to-face to more than one hundred million people. Across the globe in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia, and Africa, his crusades have broken stadium attendance records. And with the advent of radio, television, and satellite broadcasts, Graham has reached more than two billion people in his lifetime.

Billy Graham: God's Ambassador includes hundreds of photos from the archives of Graham's photographer, Russ Busby, along with quotes, comments, and personal reflections from the past half century, most of them in the words of Graham himself and those who have been the closest to him. Unlike any other book ever published on his life and ministry, this insightful edition captures Graham the advocate, preaching for human rights and world peace; Graham the counselor, with presidents and world leaders; Graham the inspirer, a positive influence in times of conflict and discord; and Graham the husband and father, at home with his family.

This unique, once-in-a-lifetime volume beautifully captures the public and private moments of one of the world's most prominent figures, and certainly the most influential Christian of the twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

"I learned more about human nature in two hours at Harringay [his 1954 British arena crusade] than I have learned in thirty-seven years. I realized the power for good…or for evil that can be released. Of the longing of people for a different sort of life. Of course, if I wanted to be clever I would just say man needs a God…. But you see that wouldn't really express what I was feeling. For all the way home, I puffed at my pipe. My eyes were scalded with tears." Billy Graham: God's Ambassador presents the truly epic story of evangelist Billy Graham through the eyes and thoughts of those who witnessed it most closely.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060825201
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/23/2007
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Billy Graham, God's Ambassador
A Celebration of His Life and Ministry

Chapter One

Shaping a Life

"Deep down inside I knew something was different," Billy remembered. "I actually wanted to read my Bible. I wanted to tell others what had happened to me."

It happened at a revival meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. The touring evangelist, Mordecai Ham, was preaching to four thousand souls in a makeshift, sawdust-floored tabernacle. As he made his appeal, and while the congregation sang "Almost Persuaded," seventeen-year-old Billy Graham went forward to register a decision that would forever direct his life.

"I didn't have any tears, I didn't have any emotion, I didn't hear any thunder, there was no lightning . . . but that's when I made my decision for Christ. It was as simple as that."

That evening, upstairs in his bedroom, by the side of the bed, Billy dropped to his knees and prayed, "Oh God, I don't understand all of this. I don't know what's happening to me. But as best as I can figure out, I have given myself to You."

In fact, despite his new dedication, it took some time before Billy would fully understand all that was happening to him. It certainly didn't dull his enjoyment of life or his enthusiasm for racing his father's car along North Carolina back roads. Some even accused him of being "too worldly." Billy gave little thought to a career of preaching.

Yet he was fascinated by preachers. He listened to them raptly, and even imitated and practiced several pulpit styles in front of a mirror at home. But joining their ranks was not something he considered seriously. "The last thing I wantedto do was to be a preacher," he said.

Billy may not have wanted to preach, but the teenager was talented at it. While visiting the city jail in Monroe, North Carolina, in the company of Jimmy Johnson, a "Deep down inside I knew something was different," Billy remembered. "I actually wanted to read my Bible. I wanted to tell others what had happened to me."

It happened at a revival meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. The touring evangelist, Mordecai Ham, was preaching to four thousand souls in a makeshift, sawdust-floored tabernacle. As he made his appeal, and while the congregation sang "Almost Persuaded," seventeen-year-old Billy Graham went forward to register a decision that would forever direct his life.

"I didn't have any tears, I didn't have any emotion, I didn't hear any thunder, there was no lightning . . . but that's when I made my decision for Christ. It was as simple as that."

That evening, upstairs in his bedroom, by the side of the bed, Billy dropped to his knees and prayed, "Oh God, I don't understand all of this. I don't know what's happening to me. But as best as I can figure out, I have given myself to You."

In fact, despite his new dedication, it took some time before Billy would fully understand all that was happening to him. It certainly didn't dull his enjoyment of life or his enthusiasm for racing his father's car along North Carolina back roads. Some even accused him of being "too worldly." Billy gave little thought to a career of preaching.

Yet he was fascinated by preachers. He listened to them raptly, and even imitated and practiced several pulpit styles in front of a mirror at home. But joining their ranks was not something he considered seriously. "The last thing I wanted to do was to be a preacher," he said.

Billy may not have wanted to preach, but the teenager was talented at it. While visiting the city jail in Monroe, North Carolina, in the company of Jimmy Johnson, a young evangelist, Billy nervously described his new faith for the first time to his captive audience. "Jesus changed my life!" he enthused. "He gave me peace and joy. He can give you peace and joy! He will forgive your sins as He forgave mine if you will only let Him in your heart! Jesus died so that sinners might be forgiven, have their lives transformed, and find peace with God." This central theme of his preaching never changed.

For months he struggled with God's calling on his life. Then one night in 1938, Billy faced the moonlight, the breeze, and the rest of his life. On a nighttime walk around the golf course, an inner, irresistible urge caused him to sink to his knees and sob, "Oh God, if You want me to serve You, I will. I'll be what You want me to be. I'll go where You want me to go."

No sign in the heavens. No voice from above. Yet in his spirit, Billy knew he had been called to preach.

Growing Up on a Dairy Farm

On November 7, 1918, four days before World War I ended, Morrow Coffey Graham gave birth to a baby boy in a farmhouse on Park Road near Charlotte, North Carolina. She and her husband, dairy farmer William Franklin Graham, named the boy William Franklin Graham Jr. and called him Billy Frank.

Billy grew up on the family's three-hundred-acre dairy farm and helped the hired hands milk seventy-five cows early each morning and again after school. Though this left him little time for foolishness, he was full of energy, tearing around the farm. Billy loved the Tarzan novels and often hung from trees in the yard, giving his version of the jungle man's yell, frightening passing horses and drivers.

Folks forgave his mischievous antics, though, for Billy Frank was a charmer. One of his school bus drivers remembered, "Every afternoon when Billy got off the bus, he would reach underneath and turn the shutoff valve to the gas tank. I would go about a hundred yards and the engine would sputter out. I'd get out and shake my fist at him, but he'd only give me the laughing yah-yahs. It made him a hero to the other kids, and I couldn't really get mad at the skinny so-and-so."

Billy Graham, God's Ambassador
A Celebration of His Life and Ministry
. Copyright © by Zondervan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association takes the message of God's love to the world through crusades, conferences, television, radio, film, publishing, the Internet, and other international ministries. For more information write: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, North Carolina 28201.

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