Leaders of United Bible Societies have been paying tribute to the late Rev. Billy Graham, who died on February 21, 2018, aged 99.
“Billy Graham was, without a doubt, one of the best-loved and most inspirational Christian leaders of our time,” comments United Bible Societies President Dr. Robert Cunville – a personal friend of Rev. Graham and an Associate Evangelist of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in India. “He was an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life by living out the Gospel message and helping others to do the same.”
“He had a real passion to see the Bible’s life-changing message shared around the globe – a passion that is shared by Bible Societies around the world. We join the many Christians of the world who are giving thanks for the life and legacy of this remarkable man.”
“Billy Graham was a man after God’s own heart, called to speak into the lives of many millions like the great prophets of the Bible,” adds United Bible Societies Director General Michael Perreau. “He was instrumental in influencing many leaders and has brought many to faith. Each one of us is likely to know someone who has been influenced by Rev. Graham.”
“He was a unique man of God for the 20th and 21st century. Heaven has welcomed one of its most faithful servants, while earth has lost one of its most influential leaders.”
Rev. Graham had close connections with the American Bible Society, which provided Scriptures for the many thousands of people who attended his evangelism crusades. He has been an honorary member since 1965, and has been the recipient of two awards from the organization: The American Bible Society Award in 1995 and the Heroes of the Faith Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In addition, Rev. Graham served as Vice President of United Bible Societies from 1963-1966.
“Rev. Graham was a great source of wisdom and inspiration for developing materials and strategies to increase Bible engagement,” comments Roy Peterson, President and CEO of the American Bible Society. “In the days ahead, we will undoubtedly – and appropriately – hear the words of Matthew 25:21 quoted frequently regarding Mr. Graham’s passing: ‘Well done my good and faithful servant.'”
“Today, I rejoice in the thought that Rev. Graham is hearing those words from the Lord himself.”
At a Crusade in 2002, Rev. Graham shared, “There were a few times when I thought I was dying, and I saw my whole life come before me… I didn’t say to the Lord, ‘I’m a preacher, and I’ve preached to many people.’ I said, ‘Oh Lord, I’m a sinner, and I still need your forgiveness. I still need the cross.’ And I asked the Lord to give me peace in my heart, and He did – a wonderful peace that hasn’t left me.”
United Bible Societies joins the many millions who are mourning the loss of Rev. Graham, and giving thanks for the eternal legacy he leaves behind.