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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

A Timeline of the Life of Billy Graham

  • Adelle M. Banks
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2018 Feb 22
  • Comments

Evangelist Billy Graham died on Wednesday (Feb. 21). Here is a timeline of his life:

— 1918: Born Nov. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.

— 1934: Made personal commitment to Jesus during Charlotte, N.C., revival meeting.

— 1936: Earned money for college as a Fuller Brush salesman. Attended Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tenn.

— 1937-40: Attended and graduated from Florida Bible Institute near Tampa, Fla.

— 1939: Ordained to the ministry in a Southern Baptist church in Florida.

— 1943: Graduated from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill. Married Ruth McCue Bell.

— 1943-45: Pastor, First Baptist Church, Western Springs, Ill.

— 1945-50: Charter vice president, Youth for Christ International, Chicago.

— 1947-52: President, Northwestern Schools, which included a liberal arts college, Bible school and theological seminary in Minneapolis.

— 1949: Gained national attention with Los Angeles crusade.

— 1950: Founded Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis. Began weekly “Hour of Decision” radio program. Began Billy Graham Films, which became World Wide Pictures in 1952.

— 1952: Started “My Answer,” syndicated newspaper column.

— 1956: Founded Christianity Today magazine.

— 1957: Led a New York City crusade in Madison Square Garden nightly for 16 weeks.

— 1966: Convened the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin.

— 1974: Convened the Lausanne Conference for religious leaders to develop evangelism strategies.

— 1982: Awarded Templeton Foundation Prize for Progress in Religion.

— 1989: Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame; first clergyman to receive the honor.

— 1995: His ministry transmitted a “Global Mission” evangelistic conference via satellite to 185 countries in 116 languages. His son Franklin, also an evangelist, is named eventual successor to lead Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

— 1996: Awarded Congressional Gold Medal.

— 1999: First nonmusician inducted into Gospel Music Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association.

— 2000: His ministry sponsored Amsterdam 2000, an international meeting of evangelists.

— 2002: Son Franklin Graham named president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

— 2005: Hosted dedication ceremony with son Franklin at new headquarters of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, N.C. Preached last New York City crusade.

— 2007: Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., opened. Ruth Graham, his wife of more than 63 years, died.

— 2018: Died on Feb. 21 at age 99.


Watch a Live Stream of Billy Graham's preaching from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.


Visit the BGEA's memorial page for Billy Graham to leave a condolence message.



Source: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Religion News Service

Photo courtesy:

Publication date: February 22, 2018