Remembering Billy Graham the evangelist

Remembering Billy Graham the evangelist
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He was the American evangelist who preached to millions and last week we heard the sad news that Billy Graham had passed away aged 99. 

Over his incredible life, Billy conducted more than 400 crusades around the world, spreading life-changing message of Christ's love and counselled countless presidents

Famed for his style of roaming the stage and hoisting his Bible, it's thought he's preached to more people than anyone in history. 

Born the eldest of four children in dairy farm outside Charlotte in north Carolina, a poor, rural area, his family were strict Presbyterians who lost all their savings in the Depression. At the age of 16, he committed himself to a Southern Baptist mission and studied at a series of evangelical colleges. 

In 1944 he became a full-time evangelist for the American Youth for Christ campaign and in 1950 The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was founded. 

He advised US presidents from Truman to Obama and gave private advice on the religious passages in presidential speeches. He also offered his prayers at times of crisis, especially for George HW Bush at the declaration of the Gulf war and Bill Clinton at the Oklahoma bombing

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He even delivered a sermon to the queen in the Royal Family's private chapel, and was featured in the recent mini series "The Crown" as a spiritual adviser to the young Queen Elizabeth II. 

Nicknamed 'God's machine gun' for his thunderous, quick-burst speaking style, it's thought some 77 million saw him preach in person while nearly 215 million more watched his crusades on television or through satellite link-ups. 

For decades he received more than 10,000 letters a week, often with small donations and promises of support. In fact, many were delighted when he was invited to the British embassy in Washington in 2001 for the ambassador, on behalf of the Queen, to award him an honorary knighthood. 

In 2005 Billy ended his career of religious campaigns with a three-day stand that attracted more than 230,000 people as he turned over his evangelical association to his son Franklin. 

In latter years Billy suffered from Parkinson's disease as well as prostate cancer and he was hospitalised in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for respiratory problems. 

He died on February 21, 2018. 

Billy Graham's best quotes

“God proved his love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”

“God never takes away something from your life without replacing it with something better.”

"God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with."

“I've read the last page of the Bible, it's all going to turn out all right.”

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”

"My home is in Heaven. I'm just travelling through this world."