As evangelist Billy Graham prepares for his final major outreach event, which is set to occur later this year, a recent survey has offered a glimpse into how his ministry has touched evangelical leaders.
The Evangelical Leaders Survey for the month of April found that 73 percent of National Association of Evangelicals leaders have attended a Billy Graham crusade, and 44 percent have met the evangelist in person. The poll encompasses responses from the NAE’s board of directors, which includes the CEOs of denominations as well as leaders from evangelical churches, schools, and other organizations.
“The evangelical resurgence in America has been centered around Billy Graham,” NAE President Leith Anderson said in a statement. “He communicated the gospel of Jesus Christ for everyone. Never about politics, ambition, money or power. Just about Jesus.”
The 94-year-old Graham has preached the Gospel to nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories around the globe, not counting those he’s reached through television and other forms of broadcasting, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. His counsel has been sought by U.S. presidents. He has written 31 books, and has been named to Gallup’s annual “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” list 56 times.
“Billy Graham has influenced American faith more than anyone else in the last century; perhaps, more than anyone else in American history,” said Anderson.