Billy Graham is a name known by almost any person living today throughout the world. No other man has had the impact on souls finding life in Christ than he. Terry Whalin has been diligent to present Graham honestly, straightforwardly, and to show us the man behind the legend.
William Franklin Graham, Jr., was born November 7, 1918, near Charlotte, North Carolina. Called Billy Frank by his mother, he grew up like most farm boys of the era did. The family had a three-hundred acre dairy farm and expected all members of the family to pitch in and help. Billy told Terry that he’d get up at 2:30 a.m. to start his chores and milk the twenty cows under his care. Around 5:30 a.m., they’d all head in for breakfast. Prayer and Bible-reading were a part of every day’s activities as his parents were deeply devout.
Billy, perhaps because of fatigue, was a middle-of-the-road student in high school, carrying a C average. However, he loved sports and was an avid baseball fan—one of the high points of his life was meeting Babe Ruth. He started college at Bob Jones College, but transferred to the Florida Bible Institute after his first semester.
Providentially, at FBI, he met and listened to some of the great pastors of the era—from a multitude of denominations. The lesson he learned was “that people could come together in unity around the Bible and Jesus Christ rather than dwelling on a specific denomination or theology.” After attending FBI, he went to Wheaton College outside Chicago for further education. There he met Ruth Bell, the beautiful woman who would later become his wife.
Terry Whalin leads us through Graham’s growth from gangly farm boy to student to preacher to evangelist par excellence. Through vignettes and stories he heard from Graham himself, Terry lets us see the mischievous boy and man behind the legend. Billy Graham’s life has been God-driven as he’s dedicated himself to reach the masses with the love and redemption available from Jesus Christ. If you’d like to learn more about the boy and man and his journey, you’ll want to read this book.
W. Terry Whalin is an editor and author of over sixty books who has also written for more than fifty magazines. He’s a former editor of Decision, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Associations’ magazine. Terry and his wife live in Colorado.
To purchase this book, click the link: Billy Graham: A Biography of America’s Greatest Evangelist (Morgan James Faith)
Terry graciously gave me a copy of Billy Graham: A Biography of America’s Greatest Evangelist in exchange for my candid review.