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Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham & Me

101 Inspiring Personal Stories from Presidents, Pastors, Performers, and Other People Who Know Him Well

What Billy means to me...

"As I reflected on the experience of hearing Billy Graham in person, I reassessed my idea that a good sermon had to be a very scholarly effort in which you show off your exegetical knowledge and your understanding of the philosophers of the time. Billy Graham's preaching style made me realize that a guy can be powerful without having to show off his learning."

— Tim Keller

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"I've met presidents, prime ministers, and other world leaders, but nothing has meant as much to me as meeting him. Everything else pales in comparison. ... I was so moved by how God could take an ordinary man who was willing to remove himself from the picture and be completely obedient."

— Craig Groeschel

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"I was captivated by Billy. He had a powerful presence, full of kindness and grace, and a keen mind. ... In his gentle, loving way, Billy began to deepen my shallow understanding of faith."

— George W. Bush

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"Billy Graham, for all those who love America, is a living expression of what is best in its Christian traditions. We all stand in awe of his commitment, perseverance, and skills, a Christian life lived full of the energy and spirituality that faith can bring, a global voice that spoke to the needs of our time."

— Tony Blair

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"Billy has been, first and foremost, an evangelist of the Good News. But in close second place he's always been an encourager of Christian leaders. ... As I've traveled the globe, I've met ministers everywhere who were also personally encouraged by Billy Graham."

— Rick Warren

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"The story I like to tell best about Billy Graham happened when I was a twelve-year-old boy in Arkansas, and my Sunday school teacher drove me to Little Rock for Billy's 1958 crusade... [T]he White Citizens' Council suggested that Reverend Graham restrict the crusade to whites only. ... But Billy refused. He said that all people deserve to hear God's Word and that, if he couldn't preach to everyone, he wouldn't preach at all."

— Bill Clinton

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"I really feel Dr. Graham has a calling. There are people in the Bible whom God touched and used to spread His message, and I think Dr. Graham is one of them. ... I put Dr. Graham in that category of people who had the right words and the right personality and the right spirit that enabled them to have a real impact on so many different kinds of audiences."

— Tony Dungy

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"Reverend Graham started praying for me, as he had prayed for so many presidents before me. And when he finished praying, I felt the urge to pray for him. ... [T]he fact that I would ever be on top of a mountain, saying a prayer for Billy Graham—a man whose faith had changed the world and that had sustained him through triumphs and tragedies, and movements and milestones—that simple fact humbled me to my core."

— Barack Obama

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"I can't think of anyone who had more access to so many people in powerful positions in so many administrations as Billy Graham did. There had to be a reason, and I think it lies in his decency, his goodness, his simplicity. These are very transparent virtues. They cannot be faked, and by all accounts Billy Graham has them in full measure."

— Bill O'Reilly

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"Part of Billy Graham's power over the years is that he has stayed on message. That message hasn't varied since he started preaching in the 1940s. Decade after decade he has preached the Gospel. It's the way he has lived and is the key to his success."

— Dan Rather

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"There is a special grace about Billy Graham, a gentleness of spirit, a presence so filled with his love for God that one can almost immediately feel the depths of his devotion."

— Al Gore

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"I grew up around many great ministers of the Gospel. They were revered in our family, and we were taught that there was no greater thing one could do than to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. But of all the many ministers and evangelists we met and listened to over the years, there were none more admired and respected by my family than the Reverend Billy Graham. As a result, I saw him as a living legend."

— Joel Osteen

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"A man like Billy Graham, who had incredible success, who could have been a zillionaire, could have done so many things that he chose not to do. He could have had a cathedral built for him and lived the high life. ... But he eschewed all that, remaining instead normal and humble. This is extraordinary to me. His life simply was not about accumulating all those things."

— Sally Quinn

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"Now I am President of Focus on the Family and host of our daily radio show which reaches over 220 million people around the world, and I continue to thank God for the life and ministry of Dr. Billy Graham, a great man whom the Lord called to do even greater things. He has modeled God's truth with Christ's heart, inspiring and challenging millions all across the globe."

— Jim Daly

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"Billy Graham was constantly broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others. He has reached out to all people—black or white, American or foreign, man or woman—for opportunities to serve God. My testimony is that I am just one of tens of millions of people whose spiritual lives have been shaped by Billy Graham."

— Jimmy Carter

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"Everybody knew that Billy Graham only had one purpose on his mind, and that was a God-led purpose. He was so convincing, and that's why so many people came forward in these meetings all over the world."

— Louis Zamperini

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"Blessed John Paul II knew what the rest of the world knows: Billy Graham is one of the most beloved and effective preachers of the Gospel since St. Paul."

— Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan

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"Our ministry is now the largest bilingual Hispanic congregation in the country, with seventy-five satellite churches across the U.S. and Latin America. And Billy Graham is part of our church history. But he is also part of my history, and my family's history."

— Daniel de León

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One of the Greatest Evangelists of Our Time

America's beloved pastor for six decades, advisor to US presidents and world leaders, and evangelist to tens of millions: Billy Graham has delivered the Gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history. Now, for the first time, world leaders come together with Graham's inner circle to share their stories of Graham and his influence on them.

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Reflections on Billy Graham and His Legacy

Graham's 95th Birthday Vision

Graham's 95th Birthday Vision

A. Larry Ross

The principles of Jesus one lifts up and lives out are far more powerful than the mere words one says.

A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

A. Larry Ross

Christians' disagreements over particular doctrines are inferior to the beliefs and burdens they hold in common.

Bringing Hope to Millennials?

Bringing Hope to Millennials?

Johnnie Moore

Graham's message isn't a nostalgic one for another time. It's a message for now.

Billy Graham's Legacy

Billy Graham's Legacy

John Turner

As Graham's name-recognition starts to fade, what is his legacy?

Graham's White House Chaplaincy

Graham's White House Chaplaincy

Douglas LeBlanc

No other evangelist is likely to enjoy the same White House access as Graham.

Graham and the Movies

Graham and the Movies

Peter T. Chattaway

The motion-picture arm of Graham's ministry has produced over fifty films in the last fifty years.


Larry King Interviews Billy Graham
A 1988 interview with the legendary evangelist
Billy Graham at 92
Greta Van Susteren and Billy Graham in 2011

“I am not a great man, but I serve a great God.”

Billy Graham has spoken at over 400 crusades in 185 Countries on 6 Continents

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