Now through Feb. 28, the Billy Graham Library will feature the display “Pioneering Christian Cinema” in The Journey of Faith.
Beginning in 1952, World Wide Pictures touched lives around the globe with high-quality, family-friendly entertainment from the first flickers of MR. TEXAS in 1951 to the critical acclaim of THE HIDING PLACE in 1975 all the way to the daring of LAST FLIGHT OUT in 2004.
In June 1952, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) established World Wide Pictures (WWP) as its motion picture division. Over the years, WWP’s films have been shown through theaters, television, home entertainment and ministry-sponsored public events.
Billy Graham and his team have always made use of cutting-edge communication technology from radio to television and, now, to satellite feeds and webcasting. Movies were a logical step in his forward thinking. “Early in my ministry, I recognized the fact that not everyone would respond to the Gospel as the result of personal contact,” says Graham. “Therefore, in the early 1950s, World Wide Pictures was formed and has since produced over 130 films.”
In 1951, MR. TEXAS premiered at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Incredibly, 25,000 people showed up for the event—the largest single premiere in the history of motion pictures up to that time. The first Christian film ever released into theaters came from WWP in the mid 1960s. From 1987 on, WWP concentrated on the potentially larger television audiences. The last production, LAST FLIGHT OUT, premiered on North American television in 2004.
Today, BGEA’s My Hope ministry is reaching people around the world with the Gospel through dynamic films that share inspiring messages of hope found through a relationships with Jesus Christ. “Decisions,” the latest installment of the evangelistic films available from My Hope was released in fall 2016, and follows in succession of previous films: “Value of a Soul” (2015); “Heaven” (2014); and “The Cross” (2013).
Plan Your Visit
Over the coming weeks we will be sharing clips from many of the BGEA and WWP films. We hope that you will come to the Library and discover how the BGEA has used the power of film to reach thousands with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Learn about the groundbreaking ministry of our studio, World Wide Pictures, and find out how the My Hope outreach uses film to share the Gospel today. Read fascinating stories from behind the scenes of BGEA movies and see captivating photos and memorabilia in this special display, located in The Journey of Faith through the end of February.