(Moscow, Russia)—Billy Graham, one of the most blessed evangelists of the 20th Century, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at the age of 99. He left this quote behind:
“Once you will hear or read that Billy Graham died. Do not believe these words. I will be more alive than ever. I just changed my address. I entered into God’s presence.”
Billy Graham believed and repented at the age of 16 after hearing the preaching of evangelist Mordecai Ham. He was ordained as a pastor in 1939 at the age of 21.
He went on to organize the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950, and began his global outreach mission in stadiums, addressing huge auditoriums such as the Harringay Arena in London for 12,000 spectators in 1954. Over the 60 years of his outreach ministry, Rev. Graham preached to an estimated 215 million people, with more than 3 million people repenting and believing in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. He preached in more than 80 countries, and visited the USSR to preach the Gospel in 1982 and 1992.
Rev. Graham preached at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow in October 1992. Later, the preaching of Billy Graham was broadcast to the entire CIS. His books are still distributed all over the world.
Rev. Graham reached people of power. He preached about Christ to the late German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian president Boris Yeltsin, Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran. In 1994, he even met with the late Kim Il- Sung, president of North Korea, as well as Chinese leaders.
Billy Graham addressed millions of TV viewers through satellites and the Internet. Billy Graham was the first to use modern mass media communications for outreach to such an extent. His sermons were televised to 185 out of 195 countries of the world. His untarnished reputation allowed him to be a spiritual counselor for American presidents for many years, including Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
To his dear sons Franklin and Ned, daughters Ann and Ruth, and dear brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world—from the bottom of our hearts, we express our condolences and prayers for the comfort for your hearts. We ardently pray that the outreach that Billy Graham led will grow and reach many more people with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Brothers and sisters of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists
Rev. Alexei V. Smirnov, President
The Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists is a strategic ministry partner of SGA.