What a man! But what a Saviour!

I was just settling down at my computer to write a blog about Strands of Destiny, when breaking news came through on my computer that the veteran evangelist, Billy Graham, had died, aged 99. Billy Graham was not just “one of the most influential preachers of the twentieth century” as he was described by the BBC, but he was, arguably, one of the most influential of all men and women of the twentieth century.

There are hundreds of millions of men and women, probably from all the countries of the world, who owe the fact that their lives were redeemed and put back on a God-honouring course by meeting their Saviour through the ministry of Billy Graham. No-one will ever be able to calculate the extent of the blessing he has been to all those people and the consequences there have been down the generation lines to children, children’s children and beyond.

I was ten years of age when I went with my Dad to hear Billy Graham at Harringay Arena in London in 1954. I was mightily impacted and will never forget how one particular man came to the Lord there through Billy’s ministry. I tell his story in Strands of Destiny. Then, many years later in 1984, I was privileged to be the originator of Mission England Praise (now Mission Praise), the song book for Billy Graham’s Mission England, and be involved in organising the meetings at Liverpool Football Club’s, Anfield Stadium. Those never to be forgotten days were part of my own personal journey of seeing faith in action.

Meeting Billy Graham, and his almost equally well-known song-leader, Cliff Barrows, was an inspirational moment that touched my life. Even though for over thirty years now I have been involved in the healing ministry, I have never forgotten that the primary calling of a Christian is to introduce those who don’t know Jesus, to their Saviour.

This will be a day of great thanksgiving in the hearts of countless people, including my own. There will be hundreds of millions of strands of destiny woven into a tapestry of thanksgiving as Billy meets His Saviour face to face.

I was going to write this blog about reactions to my book, Strands of Destiny, but that will have to wait for another time. Today is a day to thank God for a man who walked in his destiny throughout his days. His obedience to his calling has produced a harvest of extraordinary fruit.

Thanks be to God for the man – but even greater be to God for Billy’s Saviour, who called Billy to Himself when only a teenager and has now called him Home on the brink of his hundredth birthday. What a man – but, Hallelujah! What a Saviour!


  1. Both his ministry and yours, Peter, have had great input in shaping my life in Christ. This is a time of thanksgiving to God for His faithful servants.

  2. Looking at Billy Graham’s life, one truly can say what a Saviour he had! This is encouragement to all of us to obey and trust Jesus, our and his Saviour!

  3. What a wonderful account and remembrance of dear Billy Graham that I agree with wholeheartedly. I went forward as Billy evangelised at Sheffield in 1984 having come from a traumatic, abusive and atheistic family and background.
    Until meeting with Billy Graham and Jesus in this way, on this night; it had been instilled in me that God did not exist and if he did he was to be hated. I walked forward that night hearing from Billy that this was not true, that I could believe in and trust in a living and loving God and since then my hearts cry has been ‘amazing grace how sweet the sound that saves a wretch like me…..’. I am one for of Billy Graham’s cloud of witnesses and he was one of mine and I thank God for him. Until we meet again Billy – enjoy eternity.

  4. I too was at Harringay – I was 18 at the time. An evangelical family had recently joined our Congregational church and arranged a coach to take the young people there. I have since been in the choir and counselled at his later crusades and have been greatly blessed by his ministry (as well as that of Ellel).

  5. Peter, I don’t know if I ever told you but I accepted Christ at the age of 9 (1969) while watching a Billy Graham Crusade on TV. If it was being televised, my mum tuned it in!

    On that particular night, I felt the call of Jesus inviting me to come to Him. In a moment’s time, I was transported into His arms almost like He scooped me up and twirled me around! Like He’d found His little girl!

    Everything in my life from that point forward has been because of that experience. I thank God for Billy Graham, for all I learned through Ellel Ministries, and for my life purpose in bringing freedom into the lives of others.

    God bless you, my friend! Love to Fiona!

    Robin (Coleson) Lewis

  6. Just saw the news
    I met a 75 year Christian in Devon whos be helping me .
    Told me he got saved at a Billy Graham crusade in London .

  7. May the Lord bless YOU, too, Peter for being just as as obedient to God’s calling and destiny for your life as Billy Graham’s. I was privileged to be there with you and dear Ken Hepworth at the beginnings of Ellel Ministries and be so blessed by your Bible based teaching which I have continued to put into practice in my ‘destiny’ all my life since then. Great comments about a man after God’s heart as David was. Billy will have been applauded as he entered Heaven with His beloved Savoiur! We can all sing every day ‘BLESSED ASSURANCE JESUS IS MINE!’

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