the north face flip flops Billy Graham dies at North Carolina home
Graham passed away at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, spokesman Jeremy Blume said.
The skinny preacher with the booming voice evangelized to nearly 215 million people over six decades and prayed with every US president since Harry Truman.
He was tall and handsome, with a disarming aw shucks demeanor and a Southern twang to his voice. But Graham’s influence, historians say, was monumental. Some called him “America’s pastor,” others referred to him as the “Protestant pope.”
Graham is reported to have persuaded more than 3 million people to commit their lives to Christianity and his preaching was heard in 185 of the world’s 195 countries, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Jakes.
“He saw himself as using new media to deliver a very old message,” said Randall Balmer, an expert on American religious history at Dartmouth College.
That message, as Graham said during thousands of altar calls, was that salvation is offered to one and all, black and white, rich and poor, men and women, sinners and saints, so long as they believed in Jesus.
Crusades and cathedrals
Avoiding the types of public scandals that befell other prominent preachers was key to Graham’s long running success, said Martin.
In 1948, at the beginning of his rise to fame, Graham and his tight circle of traveling evangelists gathered in California and catalogued the sins that had destroyed the careers of other Christian preachers. Money, sexual temptation and hubris topped the list.
Their pledge to avoid all three came to be known as the “Modesto Manifesto” and was later adopted by other ministers looking to avoid public disgrace.
In return for his scandal free life, Americans regularly put Graham at the top of “most admired” people polls. In 2013, he tied for fourth among most admired men with former President Bill Clinton. It was his record setting 57th appearance in the top 10,
according to Gallup.
Five years later, he branched out on his own, holding a tent crusade in downtown Los Angeles. Originally scheduled for three weeks, the crusade drew such large crowds that it was extended to seven; a radio disc jockey, a small time mobster and an Olympic athlete were among those who accepted his altar call under the “Canvas Cathedral.”
The next year, Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The crusades, which soon became the signature feature of his global ministry, frequently blended well known hymns, preaching and patriotic displays.
“His sermons contained just the right mix of patriotism and reproof,” said Molly Worthen, a religious historian at the University of North Carolina. “He urged Americans to stand strong against ‘godless communism’ but also criticized American hubris.”
Graham told an audience in Charlotte in 1958 that, “We have an idea that we Americans are God’s chosen people, that God loves us more than any other people, and that we are God’s blessed. I tell you that God doesn’t love us any more than he does the Russians.”
Graham’s crusades mobilized hundreds of volunteers not just from his own evangelical movement but also from liberal Protestant congregations and Catholic parishes.
His inclusive message he said that theological differences were less important than Christian comity angered some fundamentalists, who fulminated when he shared the stage with Catholic or liberal Protestant ministers.
The traveling messenger
Graham was seldom still, holding crusades in more than 80 countries, according to Martin, often for weeks and months at a time. He missed the birth of his first daughter, Virginia, because he was away on a preaching trip, the biographer said. At other times, he failed to recognize his own children because he had been away from home so long.
Graham led a 12 week crusade in London in 1954 and a 16 week revival in New York in 1957,
which drew tens of thousands to Madison Square Garden.