Special Event Commemorates Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s 60th Anniversary
Rare Appearances Made by Billy Graham and Crusade Legends Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea at Private Dinner
Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 18, 2010 – The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which officially marked 60 years of ministry in September, celebrated this week with a special dinner featuring Billy Graham, music and program director Cliff Barrows and soloist George Beverly Shea.
Barrows, 87, and Shea, 101, traveled the world with the evangelist for more than 50 years, leading music in front of millions at Billy Graham Crusades.
The invitation-only dinner provided an opportunity for family and close personal friends to reminisce about the past 60 years of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world, but also to look ahead to what God has in store for the ministry in the coming years.
“We’re here tonight to celebrate what God has done for these past 60 years – not only what He has done … but what I believe He has for us in the next 60 years,” said Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and president and CEO of the BGEA. “The whole purpose of the BGEA – my father, his team – over these years, is to take this simple message of God’s love and share it with a world who doesn’t know Him. And, we’ve seen over the years, millions of people give their lives to Christ. And we give God the honor. We give Him the glory.”
The evening’s program consisted of Billy Graham, along with Barrows and Shea, sharing stories of their years of ministry together.
When asked about his favorite Crusade memory, Billy Graham replied, “I remember Times Square (in 1957), when they closed the streets...I took my sermon text from the 42nd Street theater marquees, because they were fitting of the emptiness of that time, and many responded to receive Christ. That is what I remember of how God answers prayer, because that is why we are here – to honor Christ, and I want to do so tonight and thank Him for His faithfulness.”
"All the glory of anything we ever have done or will do, we lay at the feet of Jesus, whom I will see one day, along with Ruth – how I love that woman. She played a big part in all this,” said Mr. Graham, who celebrated his 92nd birthday earlier this month. “Thanks to all of you who have been with us through the years. But don't forget all the glory goes to the Lord.”
The evening closed with a spirited rendition of the classic hymn “How Great Thou Art,” led by a local choir from Central Church in Charlotte, N.C.
For more information on the history of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, please visit www.billygraham.org.
BGEA proclaims the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world by every effective means available. From its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., BGEA directs a wide range of domestic and international evangelism ministries, including: large-scale Festivals led by evangelists Franklin Graham and Will Graham; Dare to Be a Daniel, a youth evangelism training project; My Hope World Evangelism Through Television; the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, offering the hope of Jesus Christ in the midst of tragedy; and many others through print, television, telephone, radio and the Internet. For more information, please visit www.billygraham.org .