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People: Billy Graham
Why is Billy Graham remembered?
Billy Graham was born in 1918 in North Carolina, USA. At the age of 16 Graham became a Christian after hearing the evangelist Mordecai Ham preach. Along with his wife Ruth, Graham eventually became a pastor at a Baptist church in Chicago.
It was during this time that he was asked by Torrey Johnson to be involved in a radio programme, Songs in the Night. Johnson formed Youth for Christ and appointed Graham to be its full-time evangelist.
In autumn 1946 he left America along with Cliff and Billie Barrows to spend six months in Britain on mission, telling people about Jesus. The response to their work was extraordinary. Thousands of people turned to Christ in those six months of campaigns as Billy and the team preached the Gospel and saw lives transformed, families reunited and prayers answered.
The success of the campaigns led to local British Youth for Christ groups springing up around the country. Another major turning point in Billy Graham’s life came during a Christian tent meeting in Los Angeles in 1949 where he was the main preacher. The meetings were meant to run for only three weeks but ended up running for eight due to great public demand.
During these meetings many famous personalities and even a gangster became Christians. This meant that Billy Graham and the work he was doing began to gain a lot of publicity. Graham was later to become best known for his worldwide evangelistic crusades preaching the message of Christianity to more people than anyone in history.
He went on to set up the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that continues the work Graham started, spreading the Christian message to people all around the world as well as campaigning against issues of injustice. Graham has also been an adviser to many American presidents and according to Gallup Polls is regularly listed as one of the 'Ten Most Admired Men in the World.'
You can find out more about the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the work that it does today by clicking here.