Find free pastors and Christian leadership resources online on Crosswalk.com. Our pastor and Christian leadership resources include sermon illustrations, articles, sermon helps, books, blogs and other helpful worship resources. Our pastor resources include topics such as marriage, homeschool, parenting, prayer request, and many others. Pastor and Christian Leadership Resources

12 Christian and World Leaders Who Were Influenced by Rev. Billy Graham

  • Veronica Neffinger Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com
12 Christian and World Leaders Who Were Influenced by Rev. Billy Graham

Famed evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham passed away from natural causes yesterday morning (Feb. 21) at his home in North Carolina. He was undoubtedly one of the most influential people, and certainly Christian figures, of all time.

He influence extended around the globe and his platform allowed him to meet with world leaders from American presidents to Martin Luther King Jr. to Queen Elizabeth II.

But at the heart of his ministry was his passion for the Gospel and his commitment to spreading this Good News around the world. He was known as "America's pastor."

Today, so many people are mourning his death, but we are also rejoicing that he is in heaven with the Lord. Here is what several Christian leaders had to say in response to this news:

Photo courtesy: Rev. Blly Graham preaches at the Greater New York Billy Graham Crusade June 26, 2005 held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the Queens borough of New York. The three day crusade ending today will most likely be Graham's last mass event in the United States.

Photo courtesy: Mario Tama/Getty Images

1. "Graham manifested a remarkable empathy toward the needs and cares of every community he visited."

1. "Graham manifested a remarkable empathy toward the needs and cares of every community he visited."

"Graham's vision and enterprise have moved global evangelicalism forward, leaving it less parochial and more ecumenical in its posture toward other cultures and faith traditions. Liberalism, though stubbornly entrenched in many places, has almost totally collapsed as a nurturing force, while the Christ of the Scriptures, as preached by Graham, has in the past half-century transformed hearts and minds across Africa, Asia, South America, the United States, and (though less spectacularly) Britain and Canada.

Throughout his ministry, Graham manifested a remarkable empathy toward the needs and cares of every community he visited, adding to the sense of Christ-like authority in his substantially unchanging proclamation. This also had a unifying effect, both theologically and attitudinally; shared embrace of 'the gospel Billy Graham preaches' has become a bond of fellowship between Christians of different backgrounds all around the world. Hopefully, now that he is gone, these bonds of common evangelistic endeavor will remain strong." -- J. I. Packer

Photo: Franklin Graham (R) helps his father Billy Graham to the stage during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Approximately 1500 guests attended the private dedication ceremony for the library, which chronicles the life and teachings of Evangelist Billy Graham. Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush made short speeches during the dedication ceremony.

Photo courtesy: David Turner/Getty Images

2. "Graham seemed at once larger than life and a representative of our lives."

2. "Graham seemed at once larger than life and a representative of our lives."

"For the millions who followed him, Graham seemed at once larger than life and a representative of our lives. He had a loyal wife who put up with his relentless travel schedule, a couple of sons who went through a rebellious period before finding themselves, two daughters who experienced the trauma of failed marriages. He struggled with health issues, occasional indecision, and management headaches. But when he stepped behind a pulpit, whether speaking to a small group at the White House or the Kremlin, or to millions gathered outdoors in Korea or in Central Park, something supernatural happened. All other concerns of life faded away, and he focused like a laser beam on the one sure thing he knew: the gospel of Jesus Christ and its power to change lives." -- Philip Yancey

Photo courtesy: YouTube

3. "Graham the mass evangelist was sharing the gospel with small groups."

3. "Graham the mass evangelist was sharing the gospel with small groups."

"In November 1955, I had the privilege of serving as Graham's 'chief assistant missioner' during his Cambridge University mission. During those ten days our friendship strengthened, and I was touched to be invited to spend Christmas with the family at Montreat. I cherish two vivid memories of that visit. The first was family prayers each day. I saw the world-famous evangelist reading the Scriptures and praying with Ruth and their children. Secondly, we all carried Christmas parcels to a settlement of poor 'hillbilly' families on the mountain nearby. In both cases, Graham the mass evangelist was sharing the gospel with small groups." -- John R. W. Stott

Photo: Billy Graham speaks during his Crusade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park June 24, 2005 in the Queens borough of New York. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the site for Graham's sermons on June 24-26, which looks to draw thousands of people from across the country, and will purportedly be the aging Christian televangelist's final crusade.

Photo courtesy: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

4. "His focus was always on bringing people to Christ."

4. "His focus was always on bringing people to Christ."

"I learned from Graham to never lose your single focus. His focus was always on bringing people to Christ. I remember when Graham received the Congressional Gold Medal in the rotunda of the US Capitol. There were about 400 chairs, packed with VIPs. President Clinton and leaders of the House and Senate addressed the crowd, honoring Graham's life and achievements.

What do you think Graham did when it came time for him to get up to speak? He spent maybe three minutes acknowledging the honor and how little he deserved it. Then he said, 'Let me tell you about Jesus.' Even though the entire event was about him, he turned the meeting toward his lifetime central focus: Jesus." -- Pastor Rick Warren

Photo: Evangelist Billy Graham addresses the audience from the stage during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Approximately 1500 guests, including former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, attended the private dedication ceremony for the library, which chronicles the life and teachings of Graham.

Photo courtesy: Davis Turner/Getty Images

5. "This was the real Graham, caring for the least of these."

5. "This was the real Graham, caring for the least of these."

"I have many rich memories of my experiences with Billy Graham, but none more meaningful than the day he and I toured the Memphis Federal Prison. He had spoken outside to 1000 inmates gathered from three separate institutions. After it was over, I asked Billy if he would go into the maximum-security segregation unit to see those men who could not come out to hear him speak. Though his aides were pulling him back to the hotel to rest up for a crusade that night in Memphis, Billy instantly agreed. We toured the cold, stark cellblock, and I watched Billy Graham—clearly the greatest evangelist of the twentieth century—as he sat on the floor talking through the grate in a cell door to lead an inmate to Christ. There was no press present, no crowds to impress. This was the real Graham, caring for the least of these and not willing to leave that prison until even the outcasts of that institution had heard the gospel." -- Chuck Colson

 

Photo: Evangelist Billy Graham (C) is greeted by former U.S. President George H. W. Bush (R) on the stage during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Approximately 1500 guests attended the private dedication ceremony for the library, which chronicles the life and teachings of Graham. Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush made short speeches during the dedication ceremony.

Photo courtesy: Davis Turner/Getty Images

6. "Graham's ministry... changed the lives of millions."

6. "Graham's ministry... changed the lives of millions."

"Karen and I were saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest Americans of the century, Reverend Billy Graham. We send our deepest condolences to the Graham family. Billy Graham's ministry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his matchless voice changed the lives of millions. We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, 'well done good and faithful servant.' Thank you Billy Graham. God bless you." -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

 

Photo: Franklin Graham, Billy Graham, and former U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton bow their heads in prayer during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Approximately 1500 guests attended the private dedication ceremony for the library, which chronicles the life and teachings of Evangelist Billy Graham. Former U.S. Presidents Clinton, Carter and Bush made short speeches during the dedication ceremony.

Photo courtesy: Davis Turner/Getty Images

7. "He introduced person after person to Jesus Christ."

7. "He introduced person after person to Jesus Christ."

"Dr. Billy Graham stood as an exemplar to generation upon generation of modern Christians. When it comes to a living and lasting influence upon the worldwide church he can have few equals: for he introduced person after person to Jesus Christ. There are countless numbers who began their journey of faith because of Dr. Graham.

The debt owned by the global church to him is immeasurable and inexpressible. Personally I am profoundly grateful to God for the life and ministry of this good and faithful servant of the gospel; by his example he challenged all Christians to imitate how he lived and what he did.

He was one who met presidents and preachers, monarchs and musicians, the poor and the rich, the young  and the old, face to face. Yet now he is face to face with Jesus Christ, his saviour and ours. It is the meeting he has been looking forward to for the whole of his life." -- Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com

8. "With faith in God, one person can do so much good for the world."

8. "With faith in God, one person can do so much good for the world."

Graham's life was a "testament that, with faith in God, one person can do so much good for the world.

Beyond his achievements as a preacher and counselor to presidents, Rev. Graham will be remembered as a devoted husband to the late Ruth Bell Graham and a loving family man. The whole House sends its condolences to the Graham family at this time of loss." -- U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

Photo courtesy: Religion News Service

9. "He led countless persons... into everlasting joy and love."

9. "He led countless persons... into everlasting joy and love."

"There are different ways to measure the greatness of a man’s impact. One would be the institutions that were created in the wake of his influence. Another would be the shaping power of his ideas in the culture at large. Another would be the methodological and stylistic impact of his way of doing things on the religious life of America.

Another would be the incalculable eternal difference in being the human instrument in God’s hands, bringing hundreds of thousands of people out of darkness into light, and out of Satan’s authority into God’s family, and out of condemnation into forgiveness, and out of sin into holiness, and out of hell into everlasting joy with God. Not to mention the billions of practical effects for good in the way these people’s lives were changed in this world.

While only God can rightly assess the ripple effect of a person’s life in all the ways it has influence, my own judgment would be that Billy Graham’s greatest impact is the eternal difference he made in leading countless persons, from all over the world, out of destruction into everlasting joy and love. This was his primary mission. “Because God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)." -- Pastor John Piper

Photo: Billy Graham speaks during his Crusade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park June 24, 2005 in the Queens borough of New York. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the site for Graham's sermons on June 24-26, which looks to draw thousands of people from across the country, and will purportedly be the aging Christian televangelist's final crusade.

Photo courtesy: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

10. "He's more alive right now than he's ever been."

10. "He's more alive right now than he's ever been."

"When I heard this morning that Billy Graham had died, I said that's fake news. He's more alive right now than he's ever been.

And the fact is, that's what he preached, is that there is life beyond this one because of Jesus Christ and his message never wavered from that.

If somehow Billy Graham did not inherit eternal life, and if he's not alive right now in a life that will never end, then everything he stood for, everything he said is null and void. I don't believe that's so." -- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com

11. "The death of Billy Graham is a time for all of us to reflect on the hope that he preached."

11. "The death of Billy Graham is a time for all of us to reflect on the hope that he preached."

“My earliest memories are watching him preach on television as a very small child. I remember being struck as a child with the gravity with which he took the Gospel. That continued with me for the rest of my life. When I met Dr. Graham, that same sense of weightiness of the Gospel was evident in him personally – just as it was in public.

I think the death of Billy Graham is a time for all of us to reflect on the hope that he preached – forgiveness of sins and peace with God through Jesus Christ. I hope there’s a great deal of reflection, not just on what he did, but why.” -- Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/FotoDuets

12. "My father's legacy is one that encompasses the world."

12. "My father's legacy is one that encompasses the world."

"My Father’s legacy is one that encompasses the world…and engulfs my own life. When I think of him, I don’t think of Billy Graham, the public figure. I think of my Daddy. The one who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat. Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap. Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald’s. Who was interested in everything and everyone, from the small to the great. Whose mind remembered details that even a computer would have trouble recalling.

But when I think of him I also think of his message because he was immersed in it. Saturated in it. He was his message…a simple man who had responded to God’s love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life. Simple faith. Faith that now matters more than anything else." -- Anne Graham Lotz, founder of AnGeL Ministries and daughter of Rev. Graham

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/kevron2001

Publication date: February 22, 2018





Follow Crosswalk.com