North Carolina-Billy Graham-October 18

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-October 18

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

One of the most renowned orators and preachers of the twentieth century is Billy Graham. He has touched the lives of millions internationally since entering evangelism after World War II.


Born William Franklin Graham in Charlotte, North Carolina, on November 7, 1918, Billy was the son of dairy farmers who lived in the countryside of Mecklenburg County.

Growing up during the Depression took its toll on the Graham family, but Billy and his brothers and sisters quickly learned the benefit of family values and hard work. Originally a skeptic of religion and Christianity, Billy’s conversion occurred in 1934 when a traveling preacher, Mordecai Ham, visited Charlotte to host a revival. The young Graham experienced a renewal after hearing Dr. Ham’s message, and he became a fully-devoted Christian, soon realizing that he wanted to become a preacher himself.

After receiving his schooling at Bob Jones University, the Florida Bible Institute and Wheaton College, Graham had developed his communication skills and his knowledge and command of the Bible. In 1939, Billy was ordained into the Southern Baptist Convention, and he became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Western Springs, Illinois in 1943.

In 1943 Graham married Ruth Bell, a daughter of missionaries to China.


Graham, now ninety-seven is approaching his 98th birthday in a couple of weeks, has passed his duties and leadership of BGEA to his son, Franklin Graham.

In a July 2016 letter addressed to friends and supporters of the BGEA Franklin shared that his 97-year-old father still resides in his own home in Montreat, NC, carefully mentioning that someone’s always there to keep him company, and that his father lives with the “limitations typical of old age” which include poor eyesight, poor hearing, and being confined to a wheelchair.


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