“Life Sentence” by Charles Colson – From the Bookshelf of Billy Graham

July 29, 2015

Categories: Billy Graham

Billy Graham’s friend and fellow evangelist, Chuck Colson, lived an unusual yet impactful life. He accepted Christ in 1973 and then was put in prison in 1974 for obstruction of justice and political cover-up charges. His time in his cell was different than most, however, because he felt called by the Lord to serve the prisoners.

He saw desperation and hopelessness and knew he needed to help. Seven months later, he was released, and he turned his newfound passion for prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families into a ministry. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship, which had become the largest outreach of its kind.

Mr. Graham was special to Colson because it was through the message that Billy preached that Colson was saved. The man who witnessed to Colson had previously accepted Christ at a Graham Crusade.

Colson later became friends with Mr. Graham saying, “After my conversion … Billy reached out to me and befriended me, guided me and counseled me. He has served as a role model, a person I could emulate.”

They shared time preaching to thousands of prisoners and speaking at Crusades together. Colson shared his testimony at three Billy Graham Crusades: Baltimore in 1981, Pittsburgh in 1993, and Fresno in 2001.

Colson also wrote many books and signed one and gave it to the Grahams. The book is titled Life Sentence, and it reads, “To Billy and Ruth, with deep gratitude. Chuck.”


At the age of 80, Colson passed away and Mr. Graham shared his condolences, “When I get to Heaven and see Chuck again, I believe I will also see many, many people there whose lives have been transformed because of the message he shared with them… He will be greatly missed by many, including me. I count it a privilege to have called him friend.”

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