Will Graham, the grandson of Dr. Billy Graham, preached the Gospel message to over 100,000 in the Philippines during his “evangelistic celebration,” a crusade-style outreach across the globe, continuing the legacy of his grandfather through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, holds special significance for the grandson, as it is now the only place in the world to see three generations of the Graham family – Dr. Billy Graham, Frank Graham, and Will himself – preach to thousands gathered in the Quirino Grandstand, where millions of Filipinos have been led to Christ, reports CBN News. At this particular event, tens of thousands responded to the altar call.
The date of the event took place only days before the first-year anniversary of Billy Graham’s death, leading Will Graham to recall his grandfather’s influence and legacy, and what it means to continue in the work God began through his grandfather’s life.
“I wish I could go back and tell my grandfather what I did in Manila. ‘Oh Daddy Billy, you won’t believe it. I preached in the same place you preached in 1977 in Manila.’ I don’t have that anymore,” he said. “I miss that part.”
In 1957, Luz Alvarez, now 84 years old, listened to the message spoken by Dr. Billy Graham during his crusade 62 years ago.
“I can still remember it was raining hard because there was a storm that night in 1957,” she told CBN News. “But many people still came, as many as the people who are here tonight. I am so happy that now I am listening to his grandson. They are a big blessing to the Philippines.” Many years later, Alvarez served as a counselor for Will Graham’s Celebration.
The events came during a season of political unrest. Local and national elections will take place in May, and the country has already experienced politically motivated violence, and deadly some bombings in the south, where 20 were killed in church bombing.
Will Graham, however, emphasized that during times like these, “I think it’s even more imperative to preach the Gospel,” he said. “The only thing that can change people’s lives is the Gospel.”
“This is the only message we know what to preach, the power of God unto salvation,” said Will. “And that’s what my grandfather preaches, my father has preached, and that’s what I will continue to preach wherever I go.”
Photo courtesy: Public Domain/Nationaal Archief