This Date in History: Billy Graham Receives Honorary Knighthood

December 6, 2012

Leadership Exhibit at the Library

At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6, 2001, Billy Graham received an honorary knighthood from Sir Christopher Meyer, the British Ambassador to the U.S., on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “He is being honoured for his huge and truly international contribution to civic and religious life over 60 years.”

In this excerpt from his address, Billy Graham speaks about the great honor and gives all the glory to God:

“I especially want to ask you, sir, to convey to Her Majesty the Queen, my deepest gratitude for the high honor she has graciously bestowed upon me this evening.  I accept it with humility and unworthiness, and I take it as a symbol of the common historical ties that have bound our two nations together in war and in peace.

I read a quote that appeared in The Daily News in 1903 about Queen Victoria.  After hearing the dean preach a sermon about Christ’s return to earth, Queen Victoria said, “Oh how I wish that the Lord might come during my lifetime.”  When the dean asked her why, she replied, “I should like to lay my crown at His feet.”  And that’s the way I feel tonight about any honors that may come to me.  I’d like to lay it at His feet and plan to do it some day and at my age it won’t be too long.

In the same way, I want to give God all the glory and all the praise for what has been accomplished in my life and those of my family and associates that are here tonight.  I, too, look forward to the day when I can see Jesus face to face and lay at His feet any honor I’ve ever received because He deserves it all.”

Images from the presentation, as recently displayed in a special exhibit at The Billy Graham Library.
The certificate from the Dec. 6, 2001 presentation, as recently displayed during a special exhibit at The Billy Graham Library.

What Do You Think?