About This Book
Renowned Evangelical preacher Billy Graham has touched tens of millions of lives, inspiring faith and hope around the world. And you will get to know the beloved preacher better in these inspiring, personal stories by the people who know him best. This book contains 101 fascinating stories from all the living U.S. presidents, well-known pastors, country singers and other celebrities, and world leaders, relating their own experiences with Billy Graham. You will meet the real Billy Graham, the man behind the public figure.
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Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham & Me by Steve Posner and Amy Newmark
Through a ministry spanning more than six decades, renowned evangelist Billy Graham influenced many people: from political figures to racecar drivers; rock stars to talk show hosts; and of course, other pastors. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham & Me is an anthology that celebrates his life and legacy, featuring personal stories from world leaders, including every living president, celebrities and the people who know him best. Here are five things you likely never knew about Billy Graham.
1. He emphasizes the things that unite, rather than divide. "His crusades brought unity, visibility and credibility to the local church," writes Billy Graham’s long-time spokesperson A. Larry Ross. "He was a catalytic unifier of the Church around shared priorities rather than differences, cultivating mainline churches and prompting Protestant/Catholic cooperation in evangelism."
2. He is the same individual privately as he is in public. Although Billy Graham has advised some of the most influential people in the world, the most important person in the world to him is whomever he is speaking at the moment. "He is the same individual one-on-one over a meal or in a meeting back at the hotel as he is behind the pulpit," Ross says.
3. He is a man of great humility. Billy Graham has met with countless influential leaders in government, business, sports, entertainment, and religion, but only asked one for his signature: when he swapped autographs, when asked for his by former astronaut and senator John Glenn. Ross writes that Billy Graham "genuinely" never understood why anyone would want his autograph. "His puzzled sincerity was reflective of his self-identification as ‘a country boy called to preach,’ who could not fathom why the Lord chose him to be blessed with such spiritual responsibility and global opportunity," Ross says.
4. He had a pastor’s heart, full of grace. One story that demonstrates this foundational dimension of Billy Graham’s character took place right after the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. In the middle of the political controversy, no public figure wanted to sit next to the President at a black-tie dinner hosted by Time magazine — until Mr. Graham was asked. He exclaimed in reply, "I’ll sit next to the President. He’s my friend!" Ross explains further, "What mattered most to Mr. Graham was to faithfully lift up the name of Jesus with authenticity and integrity to the great and the low, the high and the humble."
5. He held more than 400 crusades during a ministry spanning more than six decades. During this time, he preached to nearly 215 million people in live audiences in 185 countries and territories, reaching countless millions more through television, radio, film, publishing and the Internet. Despite his reach, he has never lost his authenticity or integrity. "“I am not a great man — but I do serve a great God," Billy Graham writes in his afterword, "and I give Him all the glory for whatever my associates and I have been able to accomplish over the years."