This magazine and I both have our beginnings in a replacement evangelist’s ministry.
I was making my way down Black Mountain in North Carolina in the fall of 2009, heading for I-40 north to Charlotte, when I decided to call my mom. Not the usual thing a guy then in his late 50s does following a meeting—but this wasn't just any meeting.
"Mom, you'll never guess who I just spent an hour with," I excitedly blurted out, my words in overdrive. "Billy Graham!"
I then waited for the effect of that name to sink in. And it did. With silence.
One second. Two seconds. Five seconds. Silence.
"Mom," I repeated several times, thinking my cell connection was kaput. "You there?"
Finally, in her quietest church voice, she replied: "Really?"
"Yes, Mom," I said. "Really!" At which point, she was transported back over 65 years to a Saturday night Voice of Christian Youth rally at the Masonic Temple in downtown Detroit. As a girl of 15 or 16 years of age, she was brought there to hear an evangelist by her boyfriend, who was on fire for the Lord.
He had ulterior motives, to be sure. He was falling in love with this girl—but he knew their courtship could not go much further unless she too committed her life to Christ.
As the story is told, the evangelist my future father had hoped would convincingly deliver the altar call that night was unable to attend for some reason, so another evangelist—then unknown to either teenager—filled in. And that night, by the grace of God alone, my mom's eternity was redirected.
God graciously used that backup evangelist, Billy Graham, to set the cornerstone of what would eventually become a family of four. It was a home marked by an infectious love for Christ and his Word, where gospel witness was a …
Source: Christianity Today Most Read