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Franklin Graham Honors His Father, Billy Graham, on His 100th Birthday

Franklin Graham greeted people Wednesday at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, on what would have been his father’s 100th birthday. The evangelist was there to sign copies of Through My Father’s Eyes, a book he wrote in tribute to his father.


One hundred years ago, the man who would become known as the “evangelist to the world” and “pastor to presidents” was born on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina.

But in his hometown on Wednesday, Billy Graham was remembered by family members and ordinary people who loved him and his legacy of sharing the Gospel.

More than 800 people lined up outside the Billy Graham Library to meet his son, Franklin Graham; share a quick Billy Graham story; and get a copy of Through My Father’s Eyes autographed. Franklin visited with people and signed copies of the book he wrote to honor his father.

The younger Graham began working on the book after his mother, Ruth Bell Graham, passed away in 2007. He finished it shortly before his father went to heaven on February 21, 2018.

“These are lessons I’ve learned from my father but also my heavenly Father,” Franklin Graham told those gathered. “These are lessons on Scripture that apply to all of us.”

Franklin Graham (center) speaks to the media outside the Billy Graham Library before heading inside for his book signing.


The tribute book, which was released in May, shares personal memories, anecdotes and powerful insights on the impact a godly father can have.

“I think I’ll miss my father all the days of my life,” Franklin Graham added. “There’s not a day that I don’t think about him at some point during that day.

“I ask myself, ‘What would my father say about this? What would my father think about this?’”

Franklin Graham continues his father’s ministry, serving as president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).


‘We’re Celebrating His Birthday Tonight’

Flo Mazarakis waited eagerly in line to get her copy of Through My Father’s Eyessigned. Her history with the BGEA goes back 13 years, when she served as a prayer volunteer at Billy Graham’s 2005 New York City Crusade.

Mazarakis was nervous about going to the Big Apple, so she prayed hard. “With tears streaming down my face, the Lord gave me the courage to be an altar-call counselor,” she said. That night, Mazarakis volunteered alongside a BGEA staff member, whom she later married. “God blessed me with a husband that is much more than I could have ever asked or imagined,” she said. “We say there were 10,000 salvations [from the Crusade] and one marriage.”

Her special fondness for Billy Graham’s ministry didn’t end there. A baker, Flo made coconut pound cakes for the evangelist’s birthday six years in a row, calling it “one of my greatest honors and privileges other than knowing Jesus Christ.”

The couple really misses the evangelist. “We’re planning on going out and still celebrating Dr. Graham’s birthday tonight because we found a place that makes really good coconut cake,” she smiled.

A woman takes pictures of a cake made to commemorate Billy Graham’s 100th birthday. Visitors enjoyed eating the complimentary cake and talking. Two guests traveled from Myanmar to celebrate Mr. Graham’s birthday.


‘I Can’t Wait to Meet Him in Heaven’

Ken Poindexter of nearby Iredell County, North Carolina, comes to the Billy Graham Library often because of what Billy Graham represents—the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, he came to honor the evangelist and thank his son, Franklin. “What he is doing and what the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is doing is actually transforming lives.

“He is making a difference in people’s lives in this country and in the world,” Poindexter remarked.

The entrepreneur heard Franklin Graham preach at the last stop of the Decision America Tour in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2016. After hearing Franklin encourage Christians to run for office and stand for Biblical values, he took it seriously. On Tuesday, Poindexter was elected to his county’s Board of Education.

“It made me take a stand at 61 years old,” he smiled.

He has admired what the BGEA stands for since he attended all three nights of a Billy Graham Crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1996.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt a more powerful presence of the Holy Spirit as I did those days in the stadium,” Poindexter recalled.  “It was like I was plugged into electricity.”

“I can’t wait to meet Billy Graham in heaven. I’m really excited about getting there and getting to spend some time with him.”

Throughout his life, Billy Graham preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some 215 million people who attended one of his more than 400 Crusades, simulcasts and evangelistic rallies in more than 185 countries and territories. He reached millions more through TV, video, film, the internet and 34 books.

Through My Father’s Eyes is available online at Ruth’s Attic Bookstore. 


Flowers were placed at Billy Graham’s grave Wednesday, Nov. 7, to commemorate what would have been his 100th birthday. The grave of his late wife, Ruth Bell Graham, is to the left.

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  1. Barbara Luffman says:

    My husband, Jack and I, along with family members, Barry and Linda Martin, all of us from Elkin, NC, visited the Billy Graham Library on Wednesday, November 7, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Billy Graham, and take the tour. It was a very special day and we loved it so much!

  2. Joan Benson says:

    Billy Graham was a true man of God who never wavered from his walk and love for Jesus. It is wonderful to see his son carry on his legacy in preaching the true gospel and winning souls for Jesus. May God richly bless you and your family.

    Sincerely, Joan

  3. Debbie Colwell says:

    I was thrilled and honored to be able to go to the book signing. What a wonderful legacy. Billy Graham will definitely hear well done thou good and faithful servant

  4. Charlene Winkler says:

    Continuing praying for the ministry and impact it is having on the world, for the hearts of man, eternal salvation!😇

  5. Donna Burgess says:

    I visited the Library nearly 4 years ago and want very much to return one day. I met a very kind lady, one of the volunteers and we continue to stay in touch. I also met a gentleman next to Ruth’s grave. We spoke for awhile and we also stay in touch. Being there just gives you an amazing sense of peace. God Bless this amazing family.

  6. carolyn rogers says:

    I grew up listening to Billy Graham. I don’t think there is anyone that doesn’t know that name. The man was memorable, but the message he bought to the world will last a lifetime. My mother is 91 and we talk about heaven and all of those people we didn’t get to see in life, and the name Billy Graham has come up as one of those people. There has been many things said about him, but to read “Through my Father’s Eyes” is a new and wonderful experience I can’t wait to read. Thank You for all you and your family has given to the public, until we meat,
    When all saints get to Heaven,

  7. Millie Leone says:

    God bless Franklin as he carries on the work of BGEA! Also the entire family!

  8. Diane Gherardi says:

    What a beautiful tribute to Billy Graham and to BGEA! The entire team exhibits the beauty of the Gospel and the love of God’s Holy Word. We are blessed beyond measure and cannot thank your family for heeding the call of our merciful Lord, May He richly bless you and your entire ministry. Praise God, I was saved at a Billy Graham Crusade at the Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., many years ago! I was lost but now am found, blind but now I see. Thank you.

    Love, blessings and prayers,
    Diane Gherardi

  9. Ivaleen Bolstad says:

    I so love the emails i recieve from all of Graham Family . God Bless All

  10. Linda Wright says:

    My husband and I visited the BGEA end of April. It was so heartwarming to view the lobby tribute to Billy Graham. You could almost sense his presence was there among us. I felt so privileged to have seen this final earthly honor of him while he is rejoicing in heaven. I felt truly blessed. I would have loved to have Franklin sign his book if I could’ve been there during the signing. He must have had “writer’s cramp” when he finished! It does our country good to know that Billy Graham’s legacy is living on.

  11. phrana komm says:

    Franklin, thank you for yielding to the Holy Spirit’s calling and following the calling you have been given. I am grateful for the life God has given me, the privilege of being His child, and knowing that my eternal salvation is secure in having received Jesus when a 17 year old high school student. In 1967 I had the wonderful gift of serving as a counselor-choir member at one of your father’s crusades in Kansas City, Mo. on Brooklyn Ave., in a ball stadium. Later as a counselor at a John White Crusade at Elgin High School, Elgin, Ill. What an exhilarating experience to be used by God’s Holy Spirit to help others find their salvation in the Lord Praying for God to bless you as you serve Him. Also praying for Anne, your sister. .

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