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TCC Tributes to Billy Graham

The past 48 hours have witnessed an amazing outpouring of love and respect for Billy Graham who passed away on Wednesday, only a few months shy of 100. Billy Graham was an essential part of the neo-evangelical movement of the second half of the 20th century. This worldwide spiritual revival and renewal originated in many ways right here in the Boston area with Park Street Church Pastor Harold John Ockenga. Don Ewing, long time pastor at TCC also belonged to this wave of God’s ‘mighty acts’ right here in Metrowest. Our own long-time member Tom Phillips came to Christ through Billy Graham in New York, along with many others who were impacted by his outreach efforts both in New York and here in Boston.

Dr. Garth Rosell, historian of the movement at Gordon-Conwell Seminary writes:

“It is difficult to imagine a world without Billy Graham. For the better part of a century, his has been the voice that everyone recognized; his has been the character that everyone admired; and his has been the message that gave hope to thousands around the globe. He walked among kings and presidents but he never lost the common touch. He preached to millions but he never lost his own sense of humility. He enjoyed access to the rich and powerful, but lived modestly in his rustic Black Mountain home.”

The greatest way we can honor the memory of this remarkable man of God is to follow in his footsteps.  Let us commit ourselves to preach an unadorned Gospel faithfully to those around us with the same passion and love for Jesus!

Pastor Tom

Were you impacted by Billy Graham’s ministry? Leave a note here of tribute or memory to how Billy Graham impacted your life. View his memorial website at

4 Comments on “TCC Tributes to Billy Graham

  1. I have four distinct memories of Billy Graham. The first time I ever heard of Billy Graham was in 1974 and the time of the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland. My parents had put a bumper sticker of the congress on the family car (a Renault 16); somehow I have always remembered it and it planted a seed in my heart for the Gospel. While at Abbey School in London in 1982, the time when I committed my life to Jesus, one of my English teachers had come to Christ through the London crusade in 1954. This narrative “I came to Christ by hearing Billy Graham” would be repeated so many times by so many people over the years. Third, at the 1994 Commencement address at Gordon-Conwell (which would be his last as chair of the board of Trustees), Billy Graham candidly shared what he would have done differently in the ministry: spend more time with his family and spend more studying. Finally, in the whirlwind of the 50’s and 60’s, Billy Graham made a concerted decision to preach the cross and nothing else as a trademark of his sermons. In this way, he stands in the direct line of the reformer Martin Luther: Nothing but the Cross of Jesus. Well done, good and faithful servant. May we stay faithful to this call in our own lives!

  2. Billy preached one evening at B.U. stadium where I was trained to be an aide to those responding to the “call” after the message. I remember being so excited to be assigned a young Catholic man who wanted to know more about Jesus. We must have talked and prayed for over an hour. Of course I never saw him again. I’ve often wondered how his life played out thereafter.

  3. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
    Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV
    Rev Graham lived this.
    I remember watching him with my Dad.

  4. I grew up on a dairy farm 40 miles north of Charlotte, NC, and my Aunt Ethel was married to Frank Graham, who was closely related to the Billy Graham family. I remember one cousin who looked so much like his famous cousin. In college, on a 1956 date at West Point, we attended a lecture given by Billy Graham and as I shook his hand at the end, I was so impressed by the warmth and love of his blue eyes. He has influenced my life with his love and dedication to the Lord.

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