Billy Graham turns 95 today
The most successful evangelist in the 2,000-year history of Christianity, Billy Graham has used the technologies of the modern age to reach more people than ever with his message of faith and love.
Now turning 95, and a dozen years since his retirement from the pulpit, Graham remains a potent force in evangelism. Some 800 well wishers, including dignitaries and celebrities, will pack the Grove Park Inn today to celebrate his birthday and his legacy.
A farm boy from outside a once-sleepy Southern town, Graham answered local prayers during the Depression years: “That out of Charlotte the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the Earth,” as he recounted in his autobiography.
Graham visited Russia in 1988
, as part of the millennial anniversary celebrations of the Russian Orthodox Church:
A guest of honor of the Orthodox Church, Graham told reporters he was pleased by the changes he found since his visits in 1982 and 1984, and he expressed hope that progress will continue in church and state relationships. Some new policies, including the lifting of import restrictions on Bibles and other Christian literature, were among reforms he suggested in letters and private meetings with officials in his earlier visits. He also said he is still pressing for greater opportunities for Soviet Baptists, including the right to build and operate a seminary.