The World Methodist Council celebrates the life of Evangelist Bill Graham, who passed away on the 21st of February in North Carolina. Known as “America’s Preacher,” Graham ministered worldwide, bringing the gospel message to millions. He touched lives through his mission events along with radio and television broadcasts encouraging them to follow Christ, and is considered one of the most influential evangelists of his time.
On hearing the news, World Methodist Council General Secretary Ivan Abrahams reflected
“Billy Graham was a man of his time, an evangelist par excellence who touched the lives of many including heads of State. We thank God for his life and witness and express condolences to his family.”
Through the years, the World Methodist Council and its leaders corresponded and visited with the evangelist whose mountain home in Montreat, North Carolina, was located near the WMC offices. In 1956, Rev. Graham was a guest at the World Methodist Conference held at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Dr. Joe Hale met with Graham at his mountain home in the 1980s, and considered Graham a mentor, often exchanging letters with Graham during his tenure as General Secretary of the World Methodist Council. Hale heard Billy Graham preach when he was 16 years old and recalled, “It was then that I was led to commit my life to Christ, and as a result, the faith that I had been taught from childhood came to be meaningful and alive. I realized that Christ had died for me and provided salvation for my sins.”
The Rev. Billy Graham, it seems had many Methodist ties. Dr. Harry Denman, a Methodist layperson and evangelist, considered Graham a friend and colleague. When Denman died, Graham wrote, “Harry Denman was one of the great mentors for evangelism in my own life and ministry… the thing people will remember above all about Harry Denman was his love of Christ and his desire to see others come to know Him. He truly was one of those rare individuals whose impact will continue for generations to come.” In 1980, Graham preached at the United Methodist Congress on Evangelism, a recording of which can be heard at https://methodistthinker.com.
The World Methodist Council wishes to extend its deepest condolences to the Graham family and friends. We pray that Rev. Graham’s passion for sharing Christ’s love will live on in the many lives he trained and touched.
Rev. Billy Graham’s Official Obituary may be found at https://memorial.billygraham.org/official-obituary/.