Billy Graham 1918-2018

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Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:43 pm

Just starting the thread. I have some stuff to post but don't have time to type it up at the moment. But I thought it desirable that there be a central thread on the subject of Billy Graham and his passing.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:20 am

Haruo wrote:Just starting the thread. I have some stuff to post but don't have time to type it up at the moment. But I thought it desirable that there be a central thread on the subject of Billy Graham and his passing.


I've heard Rev. Graham preach in person twice, once when I was about seven and once when I pastored in Indiana. I took a youth group to hear him on youth night. At that time he was already having health issues. But, when he stood up to preach he was almost transformed.

His style of ministry isn't everyone's cup of tea. But I always felt he had integrity.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby KeithE » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:01 pm

I count my “salvation moment” as at a Billy Graham Crusade when I was nine. I understood his message of repentance and the need to turn around. As a 1st/2nd grader in Portland Oregon, I felt pushed around too much. When we moved to San Francisco area (after three successive suicides in my father’s family in Portland), I swore that would not happen again and I started many fights with anyone who challenged me including a teacher one time. Soon after that at the Billy Graham Crusade came to the Cow Palace in San Francisco. I did change and into Junior High I was picked on again - fights that I did not start (I was ate physically maturing). Sports in high school (again in a differing town) helped me get over that sissy reputation.

I recall that Billy Graham Crusade at communions I take part in. Each time I try to identify sin in my life. I grew to see more interior sin as I reached adulthood and more sins of omissions (like not challenging social evils) as I have grown older.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Sandy » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:15 pm

I would say that Billy Graham's preaching definitely had an impact on what I would call my salvation moment. I understood his preaching and his invitation.

I only saw him preach in person once, in Las Vegas, back in the late 70's. I was a college student, and a bunch of us made the 4 1/2 hour drive from Phoenix to hear him. I remember that he conducted a 3 a.m. service during that crusade, especially for the casino and hotel workers, which was the highest attended service of the whole crusade.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Haruo » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:33 pm

I attended a Crusade at the Kingdome (first time I'd been in the building) when I was in high school. It did not make a spiritual impression on me as far as I can tell, but nothing did at that point. I never had much contact with him after that; might read an occasional brief newspaper column (too short to really call it a column, it was generally like a third as long as Ann Landers, which I read more often (and with whom I had dinner one time). But my general impression of him was that he was pretty good about politically staying nonpartisan, ministering to the president regardless of the latter's party affiliation or specific governmental actions. And I was aware of his support of integration at a time when that was not necessarily to be expected. So it was a bit shocking to me this week to see some FB friends expressing extreme vituperation at him and joy at his death. I'll quote a couple of pieces if I can relocate them.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby James » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:07 pm

I met Billy Graham personally in the summer of 1961 at Ridgecrest. It was his custom to come to Ridgecrest once during the summer to meet with staffers. Usually, every staffer not on shift would come to meet him and hear him. That night, for whatever reason there were only about 12 of us. He sat on the edge of the stage and answered questions. No subject was out of bounds. He never raised his voice. He did not preach, but we got all of our questions answered. This was a Billy Graham seldom seen.

I heard him preach at eh fairgrounds in Louisville, KY during my years at Southern. This was the Billy Graham known to all. The sermon was powerful and it was long. The strange thing was that the vendors were quietly working the crowd selling peanuts and beverages. This was not a crusade. It was a one and done moment in time.

We talked about Billy yesterday in Bible study. Our starting point was whether turning points in history come slowly or quickly. I believe that WWII and the A-bombs set the stage for Billy's success. He did many things right.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Jim » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:35 pm

I was never in a Crusade service but I made sure to see the televised ones. Mod-libs, as evidenced over and over in this forum, considered him to be unenlightened theologically and far too much of a literalist. He believed in absolutes, so was out of fashion with the highly educated (by their own accounts). Only God knows the tremendous impact he made here and on the world scene but I suspect it has made a tremendous difference in millions of people. Franklin, while lacking anything near the charisma and deliverance-of-the-word ability, has put the Faith in practice as preached by Billy via the injunctions of Christ. He, too, is hated by the enlightened not only for reflecting Billy's approach but by the jealousy of ministers who talk the walk but do not do well in walking the talk. RIP.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby William Thornton » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:49 pm

My parents loved to listen to him. I made a couple of crusades, Atlanta and Columbia, and he spoke in Dallas in '72. Many of my colleagues imitated him in various ways.

Fox will appreciate that I read the 1980s bio, unauthorized, by what's his name.

I appreciated his scandal free life, the financial integrity.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Haruo » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:59 pm

Jim wrote:I was never in a Crusade service but I made sure to see the televised ones. Mod-libs, as evidenced over and over in this forum, considered him to be unenlightened theologically and far too much of a literalist. He believed in absolutes, so was out of fashion with the highly educated (by their own accounts). Only God knows the tremendous impact he made here and on the world scene but I suspect it has made a tremendous difference in millions of people. Franklin, while lacking anything near the charisma and deliverance-of-the-word ability, has put the Faith in practice as preached by Billy via the injunctions of Christ. He, too, is hated by the enlightened not only for reflecting Billy's approach but by the jealousy of ministers who talk the walk but do not do well in walking the talk. RIP.

Very strange take on the foregoing posts, Jim. What you say is "evidenced" seems to me to contradicted over and over in this thread. My impression is you want it to be so, so you say it is.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby JE Pettibone » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:39 pm

Haruo wrote:
Jim wrote:I was never in a Crusade service but I made sure to see the televised ones. Mod-libs, as evidenced over and over in this forum, considered him to be unenlightened theologically and far too much of a literalist. He believed in absolutes, so was out of fashion with the highly educated (by their own accounts). Only God knows the tremendous impact he made here and on the world scene but I suspect it has made a tremendous difference in millions of people. Franklin, while lacking anything near the charisma and deliverance-of-the-word ability, has put the Faith in practice as preached by Billy via the injunctions of Christ. He, too, is hated by the enlightened not only for reflecting Billy's approach but by the jealousy of ministers who talk the walk but do not do well in walking the talk. RIP.

Very strange take on the foregoing posts, Jim. What you say is "evidenced" seems to me to contradicted over and over in this thread. My impression is you want it to be so, so you say it is.


Ed: Yea Haruo,I think perhaps Jim looked at the guy who opened this thread and assumed the respondents would also be be liberals and that is a mistake . He does how ever have a point about how many if not most pre takeover SBC Loyalist where/are not as enamored with Billy as was the general populous. Because A. He Invited SBC Churches and their churches to join in promoting his crusades but gave them no special place in the program. B. They accused him of using the SBC's "good name" by joining but almost never attending FBC Dallas. C. His education was in conservative Institutions amenable to the IFCA.

I was always impressed with the Television presentations and marveled at his success at conducting integrated meetings, even in the deep south. I attended only crusade, shortly after my 1st retirement and Move to Florida there was a crusade in Hollywood, yes Hollywood Florida. Not to far from Clewiston where I was living, near the south wall of Lake Okeechobee.
At that point in time I was still a smoker, but was some what shocked at the number of people in the stands who where smoking during the service.

May the memory of his service to the Kingdom be long lasting.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Jim » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:30 am

Haruo wrote:
Jim wrote:I was never in a Crusade service but I made sure to see the televised ones. Mod-libs, as evidenced over and over in this forum, considered him to be unenlightened theologically and far too much of a literalist. He believed in absolutes, so was out of fashion with the highly educated (by their own accounts). Only God knows the tremendous impact he made here and on the world scene but I suspect it has made a tremendous difference in millions of people. Franklin, while lacking anything near the charisma and deliverance-of-the-word ability, has put the Faith in practice as preached by Billy via the injunctions of Christ. He, too, is hated by the enlightened not only for reflecting Billy's approach but by the jealousy of ministers who talk the walk but do not do well in walking the talk. RIP.

Very strange take on the foregoing posts, Jim. What you say is "evidenced" seems to me to contradicted over and over in this thread. My impression is you want it to be so, so you say it is.

I think the say-no-ill-of-the-dead crowd know exactly who they are but may not understand their profound hypocrisy. If you don't know this, you've been under a rock or part of that crowd, which was much larger when there were far more participants, and I go back a long ways, even to the time(s) of previous formats. I don't agree with all of Graham's (either one's) theology, but Billy was able to get the gospel to millions, while Franklin, when he digs wells in Africa or goes to disaster areas anywhere, puts the gospel into practice and publishes his 990 on the Internet to show contributors where their money goes. I think he's overpaid but have no idea of what he personally contributes so should actually make no judgment. I wonder how many six-figure pastors are paid for “practicing” religion, either in churches or much more lucratively via TV.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:30 am

Haruo wrote:
Jim wrote:I was never in a Crusade service but I made sure to see the televised ones. Mod-libs, as evidenced over and over in this forum, considered him to be unenlightened theologically and far too much of a literalist. He believed in absolutes, so was out of fashion with the highly educated (by their own accounts). Only God knows the tremendous impact he made here and on the world scene but I suspect it has made a tremendous difference in millions of people. Franklin, while lacking anything near the charisma and deliverance-of-the-word ability, has put the Faith in practice as preached by Billy via the injunctions of Christ. He, too, is hated by the enlightened not only for reflecting Billy's approach but by the jealousy of ministers who talk the walk but do not do well in walking the talk. RIP.

Very strange take on the foregoing posts, Jim. What you say is "evidenced" seems to me to contradicted over and over in this thread. My impression is you want it to be so, so you say it is.


There's no evidence here, and none in the broad spectrum of Protestant American Christianity, particularly among the "mod-libs", to support any of Jim's statements. Most of the criticism of Graham came from the right, not the left, back in the 60's and 70's because of his close relationships with a couple of Presidents, as widely diverse as Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. He was often criticized for having an affinity for "worldly power" because of these associations by many of his fellow Evangelical leaders. Graham was criticized for his association with Lyndon Johnson, for appearing to sympathize with Nixon's antisemitic views (for which he apologized), and for his endorsement of Mitt Romney which resulted in the removal of the definition of a cult from his website, and for what some considered an endorsement of Mormonism. Maybe some of the board members here who went to Southern heard criticisms of his intellect in classrooms there, but among the "mod-libs" who were my professors at Southwestern, there was nothing but respect.

Franklin is a different person. I guess it could be said that he tried to follow in his father's footsteps, or perhaps "inherit the family business," and he certainly had an advantage because of who his father was. Oratory skills are an over-sized characteristic of the evaluation of what is effective preaching, and Franklin is no Billy in that regard. But he's done things differently in other ways, particularly politically, and that's why he doesn't have nearly the respect, or the acceptance, that his father did.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby JE Pettibone » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:15 pm

Sandy, where do you get the Idea that
Maybe some of the board members here who went to Southern heard criticisms of his intellect in classrooms there,
?

I did not suggest such nor did James and I believe that we are the only SBTS Alumni who have been heard from here, in this thread, thus far.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Jim » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:38 pm

Sandy wrote:
Haruo wrote:
Jim wrote:I was never in a Crusade service but I made sure to see the televised ones. Mod-libs, as evidenced over and over in this forum, considered him to be unenlightened theologically and far too much of a literalist. He believed in absolutes, so was out of fashion with the highly educated (by their own accounts). Only God knows the tremendous impact he made here and on the world scene but I suspect it has made a tremendous difference in millions of people. Franklin, while lacking anything near the charisma and deliverance-of-the-word ability, has put the Faith in practice as preached by Billy via the injunctions of Christ. He, too, is hated by the enlightened not only for reflecting Billy's approach but by the jealousy of ministers who talk the walk but do not do well in walking the talk. RIP.

Very strange take on the foregoing posts, Jim. What you say is "evidenced" seems to me to contradicted over and over in this thread. My impression is you want it to be so, so you say it is.


There's no evidence here, and none in the broad spectrum of Protestant American Christianity, particularly among the "mod-libs", to support any of Jim's statements. Most of the criticism of Graham came from the right, not the left, back in the 60's and 70's because of his close relationships with a couple of Presidents, as widely diverse as Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. He was often criticized for having an affinity for "worldly power" because of these associations by many of his fellow Evangelical leaders. Graham was criticized for his association with Lyndon Johnson, for appearing to sympathize with Nixon's antisemitic views (for which he apologized), and for his endorsement of Mitt Romney which resulted in the removal of the definition of a cult from his website, and for what some considered an endorsement of Mormonism. Maybe some of the board members here who went to Southern heard criticisms of his intellect in classrooms there, but among the "mod-libs" who were my professors at Southwestern, there was nothing but respect.

Franklin is a different person. I guess it could be said that he tried to follow in his father's footsteps, or perhaps "inherit the family business," and he certainly had an advantage because of who his father was. Oratory skills are an over-sized characteristic of the evaluation of what is effective preaching, and Franklin is no Billy in that regard. But he's done things differently in other ways, particularly politically, and that's why he doesn't have nearly the respect, or the acceptance, that his father did.

Entirely predictable. You, of all people, should know how right I am, and couldn't resist one last denunciation of the Grahams. I didn't mention “the broad spectrum of Protestant American Christianity (whatever that is),” just this forum. The subject is sad but I'm still laughing at your superciliousness. Have a happy ego-driven afternoon.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:59 pm

Sandy, I think you must be living out of Fantasyland at the moment. When I was at Southern, the library had the "Billy Graham Center for Evangelism" and the "Billy Graham Chair of Evangelism." I never heard the kind of criticism you say was taking place. Guess I was in an alternative universe then since I never heard it.

Personally, I had a great appreciation for Billy Graham because of his refusal to conduct his crusades in the South without inter-racial cooperation. I attended his crusade in 1965 in Greenville, SC, arranged for a church group to attend one in Raleigh, NC, in the 1970's while I was recuperating from surgery, and took a group to his Charlotte, NC, meeting around 1996. His style was not my style, but I always found him authentic and humble.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:47 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:Sandy, I think you must be living out of Fantasyland at the moment. When I was at Southern, the library had the "Billy Graham Center for Evangelism" and the "Billy Graham Chair of Evangelism." I never heard the kind of criticism you say was taking place. Guess I was in an alternative universe then since I never heard it.

Personally, I had a great appreciation for Billy Graham because of his refusal to conduct his crusades in the South without inter-racial cooperation. I attended his crusade in 1965 in Greenville, SC, arranged for a church group to attend one in Raleigh, NC, in the 1970's while I was recuperating from surgery, and took a group to his Charlotte, NC, meeting around 1996. His style was not my style, but I always found him authentic and humble.


I didn't say that there was criticism of Graham at Southern. Jim alluded to "mod-lib" criticism of Graham, and I never heard any at Southwestern. I couldn't comment on Southern, but doubted the veracity of Jim's statement, though he now claims to have specifically been referencing those of us here.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:53 pm

JE Pettibone wrote:Sandy, where do you get the Idea that
Maybe some of the board members here who went to Southern heard criticisms of his intellect in classrooms there,
?

I did not suggest such nor did James and I believe that we are the only SBTS Alumni who have been heard from here, in this thread, thus far.


And as I explained to Dave's comment, I did not state that there was criticism of Graham at Southern. Jim claimed that "mod-libs" criticized his intellect and didn't care for him. I can attest to the fact that there was no criticism of him at Southwestern, but I was being facetious in stating that perhaps there had actually been mod-lib criticism of him at Southern. Maybe Jim knew something that someone from Southern said that I didn't know, and I can't speak for the Southern alums. It was a rhetorical statement, not a genuine belief that any moderate or liberal from Southern Seminary was ever critical of Billy Graham.

Clearly Jim was wrong.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:00 pm

Jim wrote: You, of all people, should know how right I am, and couldn't resist one last denunciation of the Grahams.


I would know how right you are on another planet in an alternative universe. Maybe. But even that would not be a certainty. There is no denunciation of the Grahams in my statement at all. It is a fact that Franklin does not have the following that his father did, and that some of the "mod-libs" on this board have been criticial of his political involvement. So have I. But that's no denunciation.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Haruo » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:29 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:Sandy, I think you must be living out of Fantasyland at the moment. When I was at Southern, the library had the "Billy Graham Center for Evangelism" and the "Billy Graham Chair of Evangelism." I never heard the kind of criticism you say was taking place. Guess I was in an alternative universe then since I never heard it.

I don't think Sandy said there was such criticism. What he said was he had not heard such, though maybe others had.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby JE Pettibone » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Sandy wrote:
JE Pettibone wrote:Sandy, where do you get the Idea that
Maybe some of the board members here who went to Southern heard criticisms of his intellect in classrooms there,
?

I did not suggest such nor did James and I believe that we are the only SBTS Alumni who have been heard from here, in this thread, thus far.


And as I explained to Dave's comment, I did not state that there was criticism of Graham at Southern. Jim claimed that "mod-libs" criticized his intellect and didn't care for him. I can attest to the fact that there was no criticism of him at Southwestern, but I was being facetious in stating that perhaps there had actually been mod-lib criticism of him at Southern. Maybe Jim knew something that someone from Southern said that I didn't know, and I can't speak for the Southern alums. It was a rhetorical statement, not a genuine belief that any moderate or liberal from Southern Seminary was ever critical of Billy Graham.

Clearly Jim was wrong.



Ed: So Sandy, in your mind when Jim or William refer to Mod Libs they are talking only about those of us who attended SBTS is that right? The criticisms of Graham that I mentioned did not come from any class at Southern but from Conservative SBC pastors, most of whom I encountered in many places, including local church events or Associational and State meetings. BTW some of those Pastors where Southwestern grads.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Haruo » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:01 pm

So far I haven't managed to unearth the threads on my Facebook Kronologio that I intended to quote here about vituperative criticism of BG, but Google News just served up a story from Rolling Stone that covers much of the same ground from a fairly similar angle. Here are a couple of excerpts:
The Soul-Crushing Legacy of Billy Graham

"I would torment myself for another 20 years trying to 'reform,' never quite able to shake the voice of Billy Graham promising me eternal damnation"

It would be years before anyone knew how much repenting Graham needed to do for his relationship with Nixon, or for his nefarious behind-the-scenes efforts to derail John F. Kennedy (because, Catholic) in 1960 and George McGovern (because, liberal) in 1972, or for the murderous advice he'd given both Lyndon Johnson and Nixon for conducting the war in Vietnam. None of it mattered to me, anyway. The man was here, in the flesh, and even from the distance of the bleachers he seemed bigger than life, radiant, a modern-day warrior Jesus ready to whip Satan's ass at a moment's notice.

It's positively miraculous how Billy Graham's shiny reputation survived, intact, till the day he died – so much so that even a person as astute as Obama could laud him as an untarnished American treasure. But then Graham was, as a historian friend of mine commented the other day, a "stone hustler from the start," one of the greatest self-promoters ever born. Graham carefully cultivated a reputation for personal integrity and moderation, despite the fact that he was not only a virulent homophobe, but a few other not-so-Godly things as well: Jew-basher, aspiring war criminal, back-stabbing political operator and Christian Dominionist predicting imminent apocalypse, for starters.

Now, I don't know enough to judge. I know some of the criticism is justified, but I don't know how much. And I'm not sure I'll find out this side of Jordan. Nor that I'll care much once I cross the river. But it is interesting to me to observe how some of my friends have a view of the guy so much at variance with others'.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:27 pm

JE Pettibone wrote: So Sandy, in your mind when Jim or William refer to Mod Libs they are talking only about those of us who attended SBTS is that right? The criticisms of Graham that I mentioned did not come from any class at Southern but from Conservative SBC pastors, most of whom I encountered in many places, including local church events or Associational and State meetings. BTW some of those Pastors where Southwestern grads.


Not in my mind. I lumped us all together, and then, since I didn't attend Southern, I thought I would let you speak for yourselves. Frankly, I really don't care whether I am referred to as a mod lib, one, the other, both or neither. If you read my post, you would have noticed that I pointed out that much of the criticism Billy Graham received came from conservatives, not from the moderate-liberal Baptist community or really any other liberal branch of Christianity.

Billy Graham's sermons were pretty standard evangelistic preaching, not heavy on theological content, but on letting those places where the word spoke regarding salvation get some attention from the listening audience. If Jim had read through a half dozen of his books, he'd know that Billy Graham was pretty moderate theologically, for a Southern Baptist. But then, one of the major influences in his life was one of those sprinklin' Presbyterians.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby JE Pettibone » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:37 pm

Ed: After posting three examples of anti Graham post Hauro wrote "Now, I don't know enough to judge. I know some of the criticism is justified, but I don't know how much. And I'm not sure I'll find out this side of Jordan. Nor that I'll care much once I cross the river. But it is interesting to me to observe how some of my friends have a view of the guy so much at variance with others'."

Ed: Interesting yes but not surprising in that you have such a wide assortment of friends. :)
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Haruo » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:19 pm

And let's not forget Fox's long-running thread (starting its third index page now) in the Baptist Heritage and History forum.
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Re: Billy Graham 1918-2018

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:26 pm

There was also another strong pro-Graham faculty member at SBTS when i was there. Dr. Don Hustad, Professor of Music, was the long-time organist for the Billy Graham crusades.
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