Billy Graham’s graduation to heaven this week caused me to reminisce about the only time I ever heard him preach at a rally. On the turf of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, I watched as the white-haired evangelist, then 86, was helped from his walker to the pulpit and then, in a voice raspy with age, delivered a quintessential Gospel sermon.
He talked about sin, he talked about repentance, he talked about forgiveness and grace and eternal life. And at the end of the evening, some 2,500 people streamed forward to find new hope through Jesus.
When people are asked to rank various professions for honesty and integrity, evangelists generally finish among mobsters and drug dealers. But Graham was listed dozens of times among the 10 most admired men in the world.