Evangelist Billy Graham passed away two years ago this month, but his faith-centric legacy lives on through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which continues to spread the gospel around the world and is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.
Graham was 99 when he died Feb. 21, 2018, having preached the gospel to more people than anyone in history – nearly 215 million – in 185 countries and territories.
But his son, Franklin Graham, and his grandson, Will Graham, have carried on the famous evangelist’s legacy. Franklin holds what the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association calls “Festivals,” while Will preaches at “Celebrations” – new terms for the “Billy Graham Crusades” of yesteryear.
The next Franklin Graham Festival will take place Feb. 21 in the Mariana Islands. Will Graham’s next Celebration is scheduled for March 20-22 in Tifton, GA.
Billy Graham’s legacy also lives on at the Billy Graham Library, which opened in Charlotte, N.C., in 2007 and has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors.
“My father’s testimony that lives beyond his earthly life was built upon the heritage of what was done two thousand years ago,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “While his voice is now silent and though he will never again step to the pulpit to preach the Word, the testimony he left behind is underscored in the Library … His testimony is not buried. He spent his life preaching the Gospel around the world – and his messages live on.”
Visitors to the Billy Graham Library this year can enjoy an interactive tour called “The Journey of Faith,” which includes exhibits, multimedia displays and memorabilia spotlighting Graham’s messages.
Meanwhile, plans to place a statue of Billy Graham in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall are moving forward. Then-North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law in 2015 approving the addition of the statue, which would replace one of former Gov. Charles Aycock, who served in the early 1900s. Aycock’s legacy has been criticized for his views on race. Each state is permitted two statues in National Statuary Hall. Donations for completion of the statue can be made online at BillyGraham.org/statue.
Photo courtesy: BillyGraham.org
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.