Reflections on Billy Graham

The only time I saw Billy Graham, was when he came to Wembley Stadium in London about nine years ago. We went with about 30 other people on a coach trip, which was organized by the local Congregational Church which I attended at that time. My wife and my mother came along too. He delivered a very powerful message and hundreds of people went forward to receive Christ and become new Christians at the end of the meeting.

I recall that the weather was absolutely atrocious on the day we went. During Dr Graham’s address the stadium was struck by lightning, which, when amplified through the PA system, produced a deafening effect. This occurrence was followed by loud cheering and applause from the vast crowd (such was the jubilant atmosphere at the meeting) !!

I only wish I’d gone to see him when he came over here in the mid 50’s – I was a young teenage apprentice engineer at the time – it might have changed my life earlier. (I eventually became a Christian at the age of 42 – when I was married with two children).

I remember that a woman I worked with at the time rather disparagingly (and negatively I thought) suggested that Billy Graham must be ‘a very wealthy man’. My reply was that although I wasn’t privy to Dr Graham’s financial status, two things come to mind: firstly, taking a team of people that size round the world wouldn’t be all that cheap, and secondly, if he used his ministry to gain enormous personal wealth at the expense of the public, this would be contrary to the Gospel he preaches. I don’t believe that a man who has been so massively used by God would fall into such a temptation. Nor do I believe that God would allow it. I believe that all those who are ‘in Christ’ are rich in a different sense – we are all ‘heirs to the unsearchable riches in Heaven’. What more could we ask.