William Franklin Graham Jr., known around the world as Billy Graham, died this morning at the age of 99 in his mountain home in Montreat, NC, just east of Asheville, according to a spokesperson with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.
Reverend Graham, one of the greatest evangelists of all time, and the most legendary son of Charlotte, was born on November 7, 1918 as the oldest of the four children of William and Morrow Graham. He was raised on a dairy farm off Park Rd., next to what is now the Park Rd. Shopping Center.
Graham is most well known for hosting massive evangelistic crusades. He led his first one in 1947, and continued preaching the simple message of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the next 60 years, personally to 84 million people in 60 countries, and on TV and the radio to 210 million people in 185 countries.
He officially preached his last video sermon in 2013, entitled “The Cross – Billy Graham’s Message To America”;
Mr. Graham has personally met with and counseled the past 12 US Presidents, starting with President Harry Truman in 1945. He was also the first major evangelist to speak behind the Iron Curtain.
Billy Graham has published dozens of best-selling books, including Angels: God’s Secret Agents and The Jesus Generation, wrote a weekly column that was syndicated in hundreds of newspapers, and has received hundreds of awards and honors, including; the Horatio Alger Award, the George Washington Honor Medal, the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award, the Congressional Gold Medal, and even a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A highway in Charlotte bears his name, as does part of Interstate 240 near his home in Asheville, North Carolina.
To commemorate the truly extraordinary life and work of Billy Graham, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association recently released this video to commemorate his 99th birthday;
If you’d like to find out more about the legendary life of Billy Graham, or walk through his actual childhood home, you can visit the Billy Graham Library, just off the Billy Graham Parkway at 4330 Westmont Dr, Charlotte, NC, Monday-Saturday, 9:30am-5pm.
Did you ever hear Billy Graham preach?
What’s your favorite memory of him?