Now, I know all you Southerners have been to at least one summer church revival. This Bible Belt tradition usually consists of several nights in a row of singing, preaching, calling for repentance in the church, and reminding us the important work of loving our neighbors and introducing them to Jesus. Whether held inside or out, everyone always ends up needing a fan to cool off from all the enthusiasm these services bring.
It was at one such summer revival that fifteen year-old Billy Graham gave his life to Christ. Born and raised outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, Billy went on to Bible College and then to Wheaton College, where he met his wife Ruth.
Billy is well known for his crusades, which, through the radio, television, and now the internet, have reached countless people around the world. But he is also known for a very different role, as a personal pastor and intercessor for several presidents since 1950. George H.W. Bush called Billy “America’s Pastor.” Graham influenced eleven consecutive presidents, all of different parties, and all vastly different from one another. In a sense, Graham, through this personal influence on influential individuals, has impacted the course of history and our entire world. All this from a man who started out in small town North Carolina!
This is a testimony of a powerful God using a man who was willing to be used, and who, most of all, loved God. There is a story of Graham being filled with the Holy Spirit after meeting with a pastor. The pastor described it as similar to Jacob wrestling with God- Graham refused to let go until God blessed him and gifted him with the fullness of his Holy Spirit. God responded, and from that point on, his anointing increased.
For more information on Billy Graham:
To listen to some of his sermons: