In James chapter four, the Bible tells us that we are but a vapor that appears for a little time before it is gone. It’s what we do with this small piece of time that we’ve been given, though, that makes all the difference.
From an eternal perspective, Pastor Billy Graham – who passed away on the morning of February 21 at the age of 99 – may have only been on this earth a short while. However, the impact he made on God’s kingdom will last long after all of us alive today are gone.
Over the course of his life, Billy Graham was able to preach the Gospel to an estimated 215 million people in countries all over the world. His presence on evangelical radio and television programs was near constant, and he published more than two-dozen best-selling books in which he shared the faith that had changed his life so much.
Through it all, Billy Graham’s kind, charismatic demeanor earned him the respect and admiration of people from all walks of life. Martin Luther King Jr. considered the pastor a close friend and once said, “Had it not been for the ministry of my good friend Dr. Billy Graham, my work in the civil rights movement would not have been as successful as it has been.” Even Presidents and world leaders took the time to meet with Billy Graham and listen closely to the spiritual advice he had to offer.
It wasn’t just the famous and influential that admired Billy Graham and his work – the pastor has appeared on Gallup’s list of the most admired men and women in the world for sixty straight years.
At AUHS, so many of our faculty, teachers, and students have been impacted by the life and work of Pastor Billy Graham. While we are no-doubt saddened by the news of his passing, we want to focus instead on the legacy that he has left behind. In passing, Billy Graham has left the world a better place than it would have been without him. He’s also left this world for a better place as well. And that is certainly something worth celebrating.