Aussie Christians reflect on Billy Graham

Christians in Australia awoke this morning to the news that one of the great men of faith, Rev Billy Graham, had passed away at the age of 99.

Affectionately known as ‘America’s Pastor,’ Graham’s influence went far beyond the borders of his own nation, leaving an indelible mark right across the earth. Today, in Australia, Christian leaders are giving thanks to God for the gift that Billy Graham’s ministry was to our nation, and for the man who lived his life so very well.

Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church

Tim Costello, Executive Director of Micah Challenge Australia, Chief Advocate World Vision Aus

Michael Frost, Vice Principal of Morling College

Billy Graham’s rise to prominence during the Eisenhower era, after America’s triumphant emergence from WWII, and in the darkest days of the Cold War, can be explained in various ways.

“It will be his dignified and unsullied character that will long be remembered and celebrated.” – Michael Frost

But what is less explicable was his lifelong ability to remain a humble preacher, devoted to a simple gospel message, sceptical of political process, and able to serve the powerful without being beholden to power. His apocalyptic premillennialism might have put him on the wrong side of history regarding global warming and social reform, and he could have used his enormous influence to fight racism more than he did, but it will be his dignified and unsullied character that will long be remembered and celebrated.

Greg Clarke, CEO of Bible Society Australia

Rev. Graham fearlessly elevated the Bible across many decades of committed ministry. He preached the Gospel to millions and advocated for the Bible through TV, video, film, the internet and books. His focus was to champion the Bible’s message of Jesus Christ to a broken world.

Ben Fielding, Worship Leader at Hillsong Church

Billy Graham had a once in a generation gift for communicating the gospel with simplicity and passion. He managed to bring together believers from across the breadth of the church and moreover, multiplied millions who were hearing or responding to the message for the first time. He was unwavering in his passion to see people reconciled with God until his final days. He will be missed, but leaves a legacy that has deeply inspired me and no doubt millions of others.

Dr John Dickson, University of Sydney

Michael Cassidy, Founder of African Enterprise

Words cannot express or measure what Billy Graham has meant to both church and world in our time, nor to African Enterprise or me personally. We therefore must content ourselves with lifting a deep Deo Gloria, along with profound thanksgiving, for the life and work of this most special and humble servant of the Lord. And to all in Billy’s family and close colleagues in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we extend our deepest sympathy and our great love at this time of immeasurable loss.

“He compelled us to remember our mandate to leave the 99 for the one… Today, a general went home. Thank God for his life and legacy.”
– Christine Caine

Christine Caine, Founder of the A21 Campaign

No one has inspired my passion for soul-winning like Billy Graham. He compelled us to remember our mandate to leave the 99 for the one. I was at the San Diego mission and wept for the duration of the entire altar call. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since. I don’t know if I ever will again. Today, a general went home. Thank God for his life and legacy.

Rev Keith Garner, Superintendent of Wesley Mission, Sydney

Billy Graham was one of, if not the most, influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. His gift was to inspire people who were not his traditional supporters. He carried his ministry into Eastern Europe – while Communist rule still existed – and was an evangelist alongside Roman Catholics. In the last two decades his ministry embraced a very powerful message of reconciliation and hope in different areas of the world.

“He was also an unassuming, kind, generous and modest man.” – Keith Garner

My most vivid memory of Billy Graham is at the Centenary of the Keswick Convention on the shores of Derwent Water. I admired his ministry then and since for his ability to make the Gospel real to anyone he addressed. He had a striking presence; he was also an unassuming, kind, generous and modest man. He could move among people from all walks of life. His legacy of biblical and evangelistic preaching has influenced billions of people around the world.

Joel Houston, Hillsong UNITED

Fr Shenouda Mansour, Coptic Orthodox Church

I am saddened to hear of passing away of the late Rev Dr Billy Graham. Billy was a true evangelist that loved the Lord Jesus. A charismatic that had no fear to tell the Gospel has it is. Billy was an inspiration to millions around the world. Since the 1950’s the name Billy Graham was identified as an evangelical Christian that attracted many millions people worldwide. In the Australian context, Billy came in 1959, 1968, 1969 and 1979 and Australia was blessed, where many people turned their lives to Jesus Christ.

May the Almighty God repose his soul, and comfort his precious family and friends that he has left behind. May God bless all the work that he had established world wide, and may his work and labour on the field continue in the ministries that continues in the churches that he has planted. May he rest eternally in the promise and hope of the second coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the dead and of the Kingdom of God, Amen.

Archbishop Glenn Davies, Sydney Anglican Church

The world has lost one of the most significant figures of the late twentieth century with the news of Billy Graham’s death on 21 February in his 100th year.

Billy Graham’s extensive ministry has affected the lives of millions of people around the globe, and under God, hundreds of thousands of people have been brought to faith in Jesus Christ through his anointed preaching ministry.

We in Australia are especially grateful for his first visit to our country in 1959, where his crusade in Sydney of that year had all the hallmarks of revival with increased church attendance, increased candidates offering themselves for the ministry and a marked effect on criminal statistics with fewer crimes being committed. His visits in 1968 and 1979 were again welcomed by church leaders, which again saw an increased level of cooperation among the Churches and many people becoming Christians.

Billy Graham was passionate about Jesus Christ and unrelenting in finding ways to persuade people to put their trust in the Saviour of the world.

We have lost a giant among us – but the angels in heaven rejoice in his arrival in his eternal home.

Karl Faase, Chair of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Aus

The world today lost a great leader and statesman with the passing of Dr Billy Graham. The American evangelist spoke to more people in person than any other individual, over 215 million people.

His 1959 crusades in Australia saw over 140,000 people respond to an invitation to the gospel message of new life in Jesus. This is the closet our nation has come to a country wide revival.

The ministry of BGEA will continue globally but the loss of Dr Graham will be felt by everyone involved.

Dwight, National Director, Alpha Australia