Evangelist Billy Graham dies aged 99
Billy Graham advised US presidents and preached to millions around the world, declaring Jesus Christ to be the only solution to humanity’s problems.
Reverend Graham, 99, died overnight at his home in Montreat in North Carolina.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association says he preached to more people than anyone in history, reaching hundreds of millions either in person or via TV and satellite links.
Nicknamed “God’s Machine Gun” for his emphatic style of speaking, he was the de facto White House chaplain for several US presidents, starting with Harry Truman and including Gerard Ford, Lyndon Johnson, George W. Bush and Richard Nixon. Barack Obama travelled to Carolina to meet him.
On a visit to Australia in 1959, he preached to 143,000 people at the MCG and to 150,00 in Sydney.
He was the son of missionaries and his five children are also evangelists. He suffered with Parkinson's disease for many years and prostate cancer.
Asked in 2011 what he would do differently, he said: “I would study more. I would pray more, travel less, take less speaking engagements… I'd spend more time in meditation and prayer and just telling the Lord how much I love him.”
Have you listened to a Billy Graham sermon?