Good News Update 242 - 22 February  2018 

A Hero of the Faith Promoted to Glory

Countless tributes are flooding the media worldwide for Evangelist Billy Graham.  Yesterday 21 February 2018, this hero of the faith, passed away at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, USA. He was 99.

In sharing about his remarkable life, Breaking Christian News highlighted that "throughout his life, Billy Graham preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some 215 million people who attended one of his more than 400 Crusades, simulcasts and evangelistic rallies in more than 185 countries and territories. He reached millions more through TV, video, film, the internet and 34 books."

We at the Canberra Declaration join with the Body of Christ worldwide in rejoicing and giving thanks for the life and ministry of Billy Graham.  In faithfully preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he has impacted millions of men, women and children of every race and nationality for eternity!

Please watch our YouTube tribute to Billy Graham - 

Born on 7 November, 1918, just before the end of World War I, he grew up on a dairy farm during the Depression.  He committed his life to serving Jesus Christ at a revival meeting in 1934.  In 1947 he conducted his first official evangelistic Crusade and in 1950 the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association came into being.  Believing that God knew no borders and that "Christ belongs to all people", Billy Graham is perhaps best known for his Crusades. 

Eternity News shares many other praiseworthy highlights such as how he has prayed with every US President since Harry Truman and how early in his career he denounced racism alongside Dr Martin Luther King in the Deep South when desegregation was not popular.  In 1996, Billy Graham and his wife Ruth, received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award the US Congress can bestow on a private citizen.  In 2001, he comforted his country and the world when he spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

At three global conferences held in Amsterdam (1983, 1986, 2000), Billy Graham gathered some 23,000 evangelists from 208 countries and territories to train them to carry the message of Jesus Christ around the world.

And this includes Australia!   While Billy Graham preached in  Australian cities during 1968, 1969 and 1979, the 1959 Southern Cross Crusade remains his most famous visit to Australia.

It was his appearance at the MCG on March 15, 1959, that will always be remembered.  The ABC wrote "i t was the day the hallowed turf of the Melbourne Cricket Ground was truly sacred."

In his autobiography 'Just As I Am', Billy Graham wrote,"the [cricket ground] directors decided to do something unprecedented; they opened the gates and allowed the crowd to invade the sacred precincts of the cricket pitch, on which only players were supposed to tread.  The final crowd estimate - 143,750 - not only broke the record for the stadium but was also the largest audience I had addressed up to that time" 

To this day, it is the biggest crowd that has ever been recorded at the ground.
In his book 'Spirit of a Nation - The Story of Australia's Christian Heritage', Dr Stuart Piggin devotes a whole chapter to Billy Graham's Crusade in Australia in 1959  "when"  he believes  "Australia came closer to a general religious awakening in than at any other time in its history"  .  
Billy Graham, at his final Crusade in June 2005 in New York said,  "I have one message: that Jesus Christ came, He died on a cross, He rose again, and He asked us to repent of our sins and receive Him by faith as Lord and Savior, and if we do, we have forgiveness of all of our sins."  It was his  primary focus to take this message to the world.

Dr Stuart Piggin further reflects that Billy Graham "longs  in his evangelistic campaigns not only to bring many to faith in Christ, but to see whole communities concerned with the things of God, and national practices and institutions transformed by Gospel values"

In his final prayer for the world on his 99th birthday Billy Graham prayed that "we do everything we can to follow in the footsteps of Jesus"  and that "we might have a spiritual awakening."  Watch his final message on YouTube HERE

Please - 
  • Pray that during this time of global reflection on the life of Billy Graham that multitudes all over the world will respond to the love of God by placing their faith in Christ.  
  • Pray that Australia will experience a spiritual awakening that will far surpass what took place here in 1959. 
  • Pray that we will follow the example of Billy Graham and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a greater urgency until His return. 
Thank you!

Your for the Gospel of Jesus Christ,

David Rowsome & Warwick Marsh

PS We encourage you to pass this tribute letter onto to your friends and ask them to sign the Canberra Declaration as a tribute to the values that Billy Graham believed and made a stand for throughout his life. Please Read & Sign HERE:

Canberra Declaration 
Warwick: phone 0418 225 212
David: phone 07 34220969