Only God could know the important role this dairy farmer’s son would play in world evangelism. From the humble beginnings on a farm to his decision for Christ at a local revival on the edge of Charlotte, North Carolina, to his travels around the world speaking in stadiums filled to capacity, Billy Graham has pursued a singular vision—to share the love of Jesus Christ with all who would listen.
In doing so he has met with Presidents, kings, queens, celebrities, and everyday men, women, and children. No matter his audience, the message is still the same. “Everywhere I go I find that people … both leaders and individuals … are asking one basic question,” Billy Graham has said. “‘Is there any hope for the future?’ My answer is the same, ‘Yes, through Jesus Christ.’”
An old preacher approached Billy Graham following the 1954 Harringay Arena Crusade in London. “I have come here every night” and listened to many different sermons, the minister told him, “and I have heard only one message.” It was a compliment, for he, like Billy Graham, knew that there is only one message that can bring real hope to a lost world.
Billy Graham’s message has never changed, and it never will. It is a simple message, but one that comes straight from God’s Word. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV).
In over 55 years of ministry, Billy Graham has preached the Gospel message to more than 215 million people in over 185 countries around the world. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which he founded in 1950, reaches out to millions more each year through radio and television broadcasts, films, literature, training, events, and the Internet.
“Until [the 20th] century the extent of an evangelist’s outreach was determined by the limits of his voice and the distribution of his writings. Within the last few years, it has literally become possible to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world. If Jesus were here today, I have no doubt He would make use of every means possible to declare His message.”
Whether exhorting a small crowd of teens at a Youth For Christ rally, speaking against apartheid in a stadium in South Africa, or praying for a wounded nation in the aftermath of 9/11, Billy Graham has lived as a man on a mission following hard after God’s calling. The mission has evolved as technology has opened doors to the whole world, but the message of hope in Christ has remained unchanged. That message continues to change hearts the world over.
The Billy Graham Library is part of this timeless mission. Each person who passes through the doors, at the foot of a large glass cross, encounters the story of a man who made it his life’s work to tell history’s most powerful story—that God loves all of us and invites us to experience that love through His Son, Jesus Christ.