Pastor's Notes

Remembering Rev. Bill Graham

February 27, 2018

Over the last week, many have shared remembrances of the late Rev. Billy Graham. I saw him in person one time. While a seminary student in 1994, I attended as a part of an Evangelism class an event that was held in Louisville, Kentucky. The gathering was the North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists. NACIE 94 published print editions of the presenters for future reference. I refer to that edition in bringing back memories of that event.

I remember Dr. Graham processing onto the platform carrying an oversized Bible, which symbolized the vast Word that he came to present. His presentation was Biblical, passionate, and grace-filled. From the publication I just re-read the chapter that he presented entitled, "The Evangelist in a Changing World: It's a New Day". I enjoyed this story and wanted to share it with you to underscore the power of prayer in our lives:

Because it was felt that I have a hard time communicating with young people of a certain age, the Cleveland crusade decided to change some of the music, and even though it represented somewhat of a risk for me, I gave my permission. Some of the music I couldn't understand at all, and I'm not sure that Bev Shea understood it either. We listened, watched, and followed the lyrics on a paper they'd given us, and every bit of it was Gospel. It didn't communicate to me as "Amazing Grace" would have done, but those 62,000 young people were highly keyed up and enjoying every minute.

When I stepped up to speak, you could have heard a pin drop. Would they listen to a 75-year-old speaker after hearing all that music? Even though I preached for 34 minutes, they listened! On finishing, I gave an invitation to which thousands responded, even though I made it very tough. At one point, I told them to turn around and go back to their seats because I thought that they had misunderstood. Through that experience, God reaffirmed a great truth to me: where there is prayer, God moves!

Many thanks for a life honorably lived as an Evangelist! Rest in His Peace, Rev. Billy Graham!

Rev. Richie

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