In His Own Words: 5 Things Billy Graham Said About…His Own Legacy

May 18, 2012

We are excited to bring you a new feature on the “Letters from the Library” blog. We are searching through the archives and files to bring you “In His Own Words: 5 Things Billy Graham said about…” Each month, we’ll explore a different topic. Today, we are looking at five things Billy Graham has said about his own legacy.

In 1996, Billy Graham appeared on “Larry King Weekend,” where Larry King asked him, “What do you want your legacy to be?  What do you want them to say when they talk about Billy Graham on a show like this? Say 50 years from now, two guys are talking and one says, what did he do?

Billy Graham: “That he was faithful to God and that he did what he was called to do and that is preach the Gospel of Christ and witness for Christ and live for Christ.  He lived a good life.  He didn’t let God down … I would like to end better than it started.


In a 1994 interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Billy Graham was asked a similar question about his legacy and the legacy of his organization.

Billy Graham: “Because of modern communications a person can become well known overnight and people have an idea as far as a clergyman is concerned, they put you on a pedestal for a little while and they don’t realize that you, too, have feet of clay and that you are not perfect.  I think that any legacy we have is going to be in the lives and the hearts of the people, as the Apostle Paul indicated, whose lives have been irrevocably changed in these various ministries…”


This is from a 1996 appearance on NBC’s Today Show.

Billy Graham: “I think that a person’s end ought to be better than his beginning.  And I would like to be remembered as a person who was faithful to God and faithful to my call and did it with integrity and with love.  I think the greatest thing in the world is love.  I can honestly say that I don’t think I ever met anybody that I didn’t love.  I mean it and only God can do that.”


In 1996, Billy Graham was interviewed on CNBC. He was asked, “If you had to write your own legacy, if you had to summarize 50 years of ministry and your incredible life, how would you like it to be written?”

Billy Graham: “That I was faithful to God and that I was faithful to the Scriptures which I believe have been inspired of God.  And I believe that they are our guide for Christian living and they’re our guide for society, as well.”


This is from a 1993 appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Billy Graham:“I want to be remembered as a person that was faithful to God, and faithful to my family and faithful to my calling.  I’ve been asked to do other things besides preach in the secular world …I’ve told each one on all occasions that God has called me to preach and I will never do anything else as long as I live.  And I’ve tried to maintain that and I believe that that has been a tremendous thing that has held me right on line…”


Visit The Billy Graham Library and take the “Journey of Faith” tour to experience the life of a man who was faithful to his calling and presenting the Gospel around the world for more than 70 years. We hope you’ll be inspired to ask yourself a similar question about your own legacy.

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