Billy Graham may not have been a Texan, but he had strong ties to the state, and Texans are taking time to memorialize him and his ministry this morning.
Graham died Wednesday at his home in North Carolina. He was 99.
Pastor Jack Graham, Prestonwood Baptist Church
“I cried when I heard it, but on the other hand I had a smile on my face because Billy is at home with the Lord,” Jack Graham said. “That’s where he wanted to be.”
Jack Graham is not related to Billy Graham but said he got to know him late in the evangelist’s life. He learned to preach by listening to Billy Graham’s Hour of Decision radio programs as a child.
Jack Graham said Billy Graham’s focus on a personal relationship with God allowed him to connect with thousands of people at a time in his massive stadium crusades.
“Even right now, his Gospel message is being heard all over the world,” Jack Graham said. “When you were around him, you could sense you were in the presence of a godly man.”
Pastor Robert Jeffress, First Baptist Dallas
“Next to the apostle Paul, Billy Graham was the greatest evangelist the world has ever known,” Jeffress said in a statement. “He preached the Gospel message in a way that anyone could comprehend it, and millions of people around the world were converted through his ministry.”
Graham was a member of First Baptist Dallas for more than 54 years, and Jeffress said his mother joined the church on the same day Graham did in the 1950s. He said she was saved at Graham’s Cotton Bowl crusade in 1954.