Billy Graham Was One of the Greatest Evangelists of 20th Century. Was He a Fundamentalist? Why and Why Not.

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  • Topic: Evangelicalism, Billy Graham, Fundamentalist Christianity
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  • Published : March 6, 2011
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Billy Graham was one of the greatest Evangelists of 20th century. Was he a fundamentalist? Why and why not. This essay is going to base its focus on Graham's personal life, the kind of family he grew up in and how he became an evangelist but the main focus of the essay is going to be on whether he is fundamentalist or not. ‘Billy Graham has preached to more than 210 million people through a live audience, more than anyone else in history’- Christian life, 2006. Graham has been able to reach millions of people through live video, film and television. This has led him to be on the "Ten Most Admired Men in the World" and he has been names “man of the year” consecutive times, of which he has gained that repeatedly which is more than any other individual in the world, he was also placed as the most popular American Evangelist for about forty years as he has been a pastor and close friend to the American Presidents. Billy Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 17, 1918, he was known as William Franklin Graham Jr. at birth and he is an American Evangelist. He was raised on a dairy farm by his father William Franklin who died in 1962 and his mother Morrow Coffey Graham who died in 1981. ‘Graham got married to his wife Ruth McCue Bell in 1943; they had four children Virginia 1945, Anne Morrow 1948, Ruth Bell 1950, William Franklin, Jr. 1952, and Nelson Edman 1958. Even at age eighty Graham keeps fit by playing with his grand children, swimming, aerobic walking in the mountains of North Carolina where he lives’ - (Billy Graham Best Sellers, 1999). An evangelist named Mordecai Ham came to Charlotte for a three-month revival. For Graham, the idea was not really a pleasant one, because he was not looking forward to being fixed in a long boring job that would make him have regrets he was born. When he was out of options for his summer nights, he had no other option but to attend the revival in order to see what the revival was all about. He was keeping in the back of his mind how he grew up in such a religious family, also how his father would always want him to take up preaching. One very night Mordecai Ham was speaking out opposing sinners, for this reason Graham had the impression Ham was referring to him, although Ham considered him to be a good kid. So in order to free himself from the fixed attention of Ham, he decided join the revival choir. Graham took it as a daily routine to listen to Ham. He became captured and was breath taken by Ham’s holy words, and how he spoke of God like he knew God in person. Graham had the impression he was ripe enough to follow Jesus, also to give his life to him as his God and personal savior. Graham impulsively enrolled at Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tennessee for the reason that Jones' preaching had once affected his mother strongly. “If Graham did not know who he was prior to entering school, he soon learned that he was not meant to be a Bob Jones student. He found the discipline to be absolutely restrictive and the theology to be at odds with the notions of God that were swarming in his head” (Frady 96). Graham and the other young evangelists were impelled at the Jones school to put into practice their preaching. Graham was waiting nervously for a call from any of the churches to be given the task to speak in front of the congregation. Finally, Graham got a call to come to a small church near Palatka to deliver a sermon. On that faithful night he rehearsed the message which he was going to use, that he had timed to be at list two hours long. But being a young and eager individual, he ended up delivering the sermon in only ten. The people were overwhelmed, and many began to ask themselves if Graham was a real preacher or an imposter. This made Graham to be very skeptical and he had doubts on his mind, doubts he suffered extreme pains to eliminate over day in and day out. The stress became too much for him and he found it very difficult to sleep at night and even...
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