Billy Graham was born William Franklin Graham, Jr. Graham has spent the majority of his lifetime spreading the word of God. He has been a religious counselor to common men and presidents alike. He has brought public displays of religious conviction back into America.
1. Ever since 1949, Graham has been a recognized religious leader. He has been called the Pope of Protestant America. He takes his message to both live and television audiences. He has dedicated his life to his cause.
2. Graham had been beside several presidents during his lifetime. Graham was by President Bush’s side as America commenced war against Iraq in 1991. Graham remained a personal counselor to President George W. Bush throughout his presidency. Other presidents such as Eisenhower and Kennedy began the tradition of consulting Graham, but it was Bush who really put him on a higher pedestal.
3. Graham is unique from other pastors in that he has a spotless record. Graham has remained completely scandal free. He practices what he preaches. On his record alone, his merit is held higher than many other religious revivalists.
4. Graham has a no-nonsense approach to religion. He holds that the Bible holds the literal truths of what has and what will come to pass regarding Christ. He preaches salvation through the grace of God and wrote a book to that effect entitled “Peace with God.”
5. Graham is optimistic in his words and simplistic in his message. He leaves little to be interpreted. He is consistent in his message and organized with his delivery. His gentle nature makes him very approachable and sheds a pleasant and optimistic light on his religious message rather than emphasizing the possible damnation that exists for those who fail to turn to God for their salvation.
6. Graham was very organized in the way that he went about spreading his message and introducing the principles of his beliefs. He focused on advertising, aggressive publicity campaigns and employing a staff of specialists (e.g. prayer leaders, singers, counselors, ushers). He followed the examples of previous revivalists and developed quite the following.
7. Graham was able to successfully escape the religious bashers of his day and was influential in the political realm, urging peace between embattled countries and moral obligation among those who had the power to keep peaceful relations. He was criticized for his readiness to take sides when it came to political matters.
8. Graham’s views of abortion separate him from most other Fundamentalists. Instead of completely denouncing abortion he preaches that the decision is one that should be approached with prayer and discussion.
9. Graham’s emphasis has not necessarily focused on just one group of people but rather his audience is as expansive as his passion is in saving every soul. He has changed public opinion regarding outward manifestations of faith. He has brought faith and a belief in God back into mainstream thinking. He is a leader in what many call American Evangelical Protestantism.
10. Graham knows how to command the attention of a room. He has the ability to convey a message which is strong enough to strike fear into the hearts of those concerned for the welfare of their souls yet gentle enough to rekindle hope in those who had lost their faith in God. He and those who assist him with his sermons have made it acceptable to have and share public testimony of God and his grace.