Franklin Graham was ordained to the ministry before an overflow crowd of 3,000 people at Grace Community Church in Tempe, Arizona, on January 10, 1982. Billy Graham had been ordained at a country church in Florida, and on this Sunday some 40 years later, he introduced his 29-year-old son Franklin to the podium, calling it “one of the great privileges and honors” of his entire life to be a part of the service.
It was a remarkable moment for Billy Graham, his wife, Ruth, and their oldest son Franklin, whose rebel years were defined by drinking, drugs, smoking, and fast driving. When Mrs. Graham paid tribute to her son during the ordination service, she reminded the crowd, “No boy is hopeless.”
What Franklin Graham told the crowd during that ceremony in 1982 continues to be his mission in life today: “As an ordained minister I will proclaim the name of Jesus Christ throughout the world wherever I go in connection with my work. My whole purpose in my ministry is to tell others about Jesus Christ through the avenues which He gives to us.”
In the 40 years since Graham shared those words, he hasn’t wavered from his commitment. He has continued to proclaim the Gospel through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, sharing the hope of Christ through hundreds of evangelistic outreaches in over 50 countries and territories and in all 50 states.
When Graham reflects on the decades of ministry that have taken him to the far corners of the globe, he’s careful not to take credit for any of it. “All that has been done, God has done it, and I thank Him for everything.”
To read more about Franklin Graham’s ordination ceremony, and to hear his heart for the future, check out the full article here at BillyGraham.org.