Billy Graham was known as America’s pastor, but his influence was so much more than that. Yes, he prayed with every president from Truman to Obama, but he also preached in 185 countries and to 215 million people, not to mention the enormous numbers touched by his recordings and literature. Those who came to the Lord through his ministry number in the millions. It is rare to find a Christian who has had such a long, enormously public, and enormously successful ministry, and who has been so persistently close to the powerful, yet whose reputation is not stained by scandal or controversy. What set him apart? A courageous availability to let himself be used by God coupled with a deep humility and awareness of who really owned the glory. Noting Graham's humble beginnings, it was said of him that "because he yielded himself to God, he was used to accomplish the extraordinary — forever impacting the lives of countless people." A recipient of many commendations, he knew what prize he really wanted. When, in 1996, he and his wife, Ruth, received the Congressional Gold Medal, he said "As Ruth and I receive this award, we know that some day we will lay it at the feet of the one we seek to serve.’
Billy Graham died this week, aged 99. He has finished the race. He has fought the good fight.