He was born to Morrow and William Franklin Graham I, on a dairy farm near Charlotte, North Carolina. Though he was raised in the Presbyterian Church by his parents, at the age of 16 he converted and became an evangelical Southern Baptist.
America’s Preacher, as he is now known, was not always looked so fondly upon. In his teenage years, he was not allowed to become a member of the local youth group because he was “too worldly.” He later went to college, but found himself facing expulsion. He was warned by administration staff not to throw his life away, and was told: “At best, all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks…. You have a voice that pulls. God can use that voice of yours. He can use it mightily.”
Indeed, God has used Billy Graham’s voice. He has preached the Gospel of Christ to more people than any other person in history, with more than 3.2 million accepting invitations to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior at Billy Graham Crusades. As of 2008, his lifetime audience was more than 2.2 billion people. His evangelism career spans more than half a century- six decades, in fact- actively preaching the gospel.
He has been a trusted spiritual adviser to most of the last 12 Presidents, and has met personally with every President, starting with Harry S. Truman, up to our current President Barack Obama.
Today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Billy Graham! You have truly changed the world! May God bless you sir!