“The message I preach hasn’t changed. Circumstances have changed. Problems have changed, but deep inside man has not changed, and the gospel hasn’t changed.” - Billy Graham
Through his 99 years, the Reverend Billy Graham demonstrated a love for God and a desire to see people come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. He preached the gospel to millions of people in more than 180 countries. Like many around the world, a number of our current students and ministry partners are sharing words of appreciation for the evangelist who was used by God in a mighty way. His clear impact in Eurasia, and the entire world, has reminded me of how much God can do through a willing servant. This picture, of Billy and Ruth Graham, was provided by one of our missionaries during a personal encounter in Europe. They have very positive recollections of working with the famous evangelist.
As for my first recollection of Billy Graham... it came while attending a revival service at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore when I was a kid (probably around 1980). I've always loved baseball so I remember being captivated by my first ever trip to a big league stadium! I recently learned that Billy Graham had a similar love for baseball. He dreamed of playing professional baseball when he was a teenager. Billy was a first baseman and was built well for the position as he even received some encouragement from the legendary Babe Ruth! Having said that, I'm confident Billy Graham made a great decision to lay aside that dream in order to pursue his calling to become a pastor/evangelist.
The game of baseball allows for no shortcuts. You must touch all of the bases in order to successfully reach home plate. The same is true when it comes to sharing God's truth. Despite the many changes in life, man's need has not changed and neither has God's gift. Billy Graham "touched all the bases" when sharing the unchanging gospel throughout his life... and now he has reached his heavenly home. Praise God for this focused and faithful example!