(RNS) The grandchildren of evangelist Billy Graham have long been influenced by their famous “Daddy Bill.” But the children of daughter Virginia “Gigi” Graham wondered what kind of influence he had on other people — those who attended his crusades or who watched him on TV.
The end result: “Thank you, Billy Graham,” a new book culled from the hundreds of comments that admirers have left on a website the grandchildren created. The responses came from 19 countries and a wide range of experiences, from ordinary people and family members who were influenced by the now-95-year-old Graham.
“Some of the most amazing stories that I have read in that book come from some of the most unlikely of individuals — people who encountered God when they weren’t even planning on it or expecting it or even, quite frankly, looking for it,” said Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian, executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) and a Religion News Service blogger. “I think the more stories you read in this book, the less focused you become on Billy Graham and the more focused you become on the God of Billy Graham.”