ADVERTISEMENT

America's most-loved evangelist Billy Graham dies

America's most-loved evangelist Billy Graham dies
Copyright 
By Robert Hackwill
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

Friend to 12 presidents and the first revivalist preacher to make a national impact via television and the media, he established a model for building a proseletysing church that kept the loyalty of its congregation, a model some later tele-evangelists copied to get fabulously rich.

ADVERTISEMENT

For more than 70 years Billy Graham, the hugely influential US evangelist who has died aged 99, preached his gospel around the world, giving sermons to an estimated 215 million people worldwide.

Friends with a succession of US presidents from Harry S Truman to George W. Bush, his was a conservative gospel mercifully free of fundamentalism, but from ordination in 1939 as a Southern Baptist until retirement in 2005 he sought to rebuild a Christianity he saw weakened by the modern world.

He launched several "crusades", nationwide or international tours, and early on expressed racist, anti-semitic and anti-Communist views. The former he apologised for in later life; for the latter, never.

He established the template for the media-savvy, charismatic tele-evangelists that would spring up in his footsteps, and who are so present on American television today, making fortunes for their churches...and sometimes themselves.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dies at 100

US: Two dead in shooting after high school graduation ceremony in Virginia

WATCH: Coffin of Iranian President Raisi arrives in Tabriz