From the Pastor’s Study –
There has been a tremendous response to the passing of Rev. Billy Graham on February 21. He impacted people from all across the social and religious spectrum in this country and across the entire globe.
I have to count myself among these people. Growing up, my family made a point to catch the TV broadcasts of his crusades. I came to a living faith through the ministry of ‘Youth For Christ’ which had employed Billy Graham back in the 1940’s as their first evangelist. I attended his college alma mater (Wheaton, IL, which holds his archives) and a seminary he helped to found (Gordon-Conwell). I’ve read Christianity Today, the magazine he worked to start, since my college days and participated in two evangelistic crusades lead by his organization.
I’ve been reading many tributes and reviews of Rev. Graham’s life and work. The Christianity Today web site has a great set of articles that recount his life and accomplishments as well as his missteps across the decades.
One of the things I’m again stuck by is the unwavering focus Rev. Graham had on the simple Gospel message of God’s love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. He wanted everyone to hear that, to know that, and to respond in repentant faith and devotion. This was his calling; and he never deviated from that calling and that message. Over the years he had many critics who wanted him to include other points, or who thought he was hopelessly out-of-date. He had offers of positions of power and influence, but he never took them.
Rev. Billy Graham stuck to the ministry God had given him; he was faithful to the end. May we give thanks for his life and work; and may we also learn from his example to be faithful to Christ and his Gospel.
<>< Pastor Ron Troup
Faith UMC, Sunbury, PA – http://www.faithumcsunbury.org/
203 Arch Street (corner of 2nd St.)
PO Box 387, Sunbury, PA 17801
(570) 286-6301 – ‘Like’ us on Facebook
Faith United Methodist Church • 203 Arch Street Sunbury, PA 17801 • (570) 286-6301