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Billy Graham says he was called to God on a golf course — at the 18th hole, in fact, of the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, in Tampa, Florida.
One night in 1939, the young Graham — a student working part-time as a caddy — knelt on the green and ‘prostrated myself on the dewy turf’, devoting his life to being a minister of God.
Congregation - Alligators - Cypress - Stumps - Island
His first congregation, he said, were the alligators and cypress stumps on a nearby island that were treated to his first attempts at preaching the Gospel. It was a humble beginning for a man credited with preaching to more people than anyone in history.
Graham, who had been suffering from cancer and pneumonia, died peacefully yesterday aged 99 at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.
Superstar - Preacher - Century - Ear - World
He was a Christian superstar. The most influential preacher of the 20th century, he had the ear of countless world leaders, including a string of U.S. presidents and — as viewers of The Crown have seen — the Queen, with whom he had a long, warm friendship.
Dubbed ‘God’s Ambassador’, he was also friends with Martin Luther King Jr, the Kennedys and Margaret Thatcher, whose press and public relations director, Harvey Thomas — badly injured in the Brighton bomb — had previously spent 15 years organising Graham’s ‘conversion’ tours.
Graham - Mrs - Thatcher - Ronald - Reagan
Graham and Mrs Thatcher were both close to Ronald Reagan, and when she was Prime Minister she invited him to Downing Street, as did other PMs, including Winston Churchill.
Almost all who met Billy Graham could attest to his extraordinary charisma and the power of his oratory. Even fervent opponents conceded that he was the acceptable face of Christian evangelism.
Graham - Converts - Lord - Quantities - Ministry
Graham delivered converts to the Lord in truly Biblical quantities — after his ministry began in 1947, some 210 million people in 185 countries went to see him...
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