Billy Graham, the man described as the Pastor to Presidents has died at the age of 99. The spokesperson to the Evangelist, Mr Mark DeMoss, confirmed that Billy Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in Montreal, North Carolina, United State of America.
As a tribute to the great man, IbadanCity Announcer Omojaro Oluwaseyi compiled 12 interesting and notable things you must know about the exploits of celebrated Evangelist.
1. Billy Graham was the first of four children raised on the family’s dairy farm in Charlotte.
2. Graham grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a Presbyterian with dreams of playing professional baseball. His conversion to the Southern Baptist faith came in 1934 at the age of 16 when he heard a traveling evangelist in his hometown. A few years later he decided to become a preacher.
3. His breakthrough as an evangelist came in 1949 when a three-week tent campaign, or “crusade,” in Los Angeles was extended to eight weeks. In 1957 he preached nightly for 16 weeks in New York’s Madison Square Garden, according to the Graham organization.
4. In order to avoid rumors of sexual or financial misconduct, Graham and his lieutenants agreed to what was known as the Modesto Manifesto in 1948. Meeting in a hotel in Modesto, California, they pledged to never be alone in a room with a woman other than their wives, and to keep honest financial records.
5. Graham received an offer to host a nationwide Christian Radio program in 1949 but said he would only do it if he raise $25,000 in one night to start the process of buying air time. At a crusade in Portland, Ore., the funds came in and the radio program “Hour of Decision” got its start. The program is now aired on 1200 Radio stations, featuring messages from Graham and his son, Franklin.
6. In the summer of 1957, Graham preached nightly for 16 consecutive weeks in New York’s Madison Square Garden to a packed audience. He shared the lessons of Sodom and Gomorrah from the bible, substituting “New York” for the names of the cities of sin, The New York Times reported.
7. Graham was the author of 33 books, including his 1997 best-selling autobiography, Just As I Am.
8. Graham helped George W. Bush stop drinking. The first time the pair met, Bush, who was much younger at the time, was drunk after having several beers and glasses of wine, he told @CNN . His father, George H.W. Bush, invited the preacher to the family’s compound in Maine. The pair spoke about religion, which helped start a turning point in Bush’s life.
9. While at Wheaton College, Graham met future wife Ruth, the daughter of missionaries in China. They were married in 1943, until her death in 2007. After her death at the age of 87, Graham said, “When it comes to spiritual things, — my wife has had the biggest influence on my ministry she was the greatest Christian I ever knew.”
10. Graham received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989.
11. Graham was listed on Gallup’s annual U.S. poll of most admired people 61 times, including in 2017, more than any other world figure. The person with the second most appearances on the list, which began in 1946, was Ronald Reagan with 31.
12. Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary Of State, said she first saw Graham preach in 1971 at a crusade in California that she attended at the invitation of then-boyfriend Bill Clinton. She said Graham later counseled her when she was first lady and dealing with her husband’s sex scandal involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky in 1998.