When I was a young child, gathering around the TV to watch a Billy Graham Crusade was a family event. Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea were familiar faces to me at an early age. I guess, at the time, it never crossed my mind that I might someday meet these men, become friends and visit in their homes.
One of my most cherished memories was a visit to Bev and Karlene’s home in Montreat, N.C. You can’t talk to Bev for too long without the conversation turning to music–especially to the hymns–so we soon found ourselves around the piano. Bev sang hymn after hymn. He’d stop long enough to share a memory or tell a story. I was most fascinated by the fact that he personally knew so many of the writers.
Bev Shea has one of the most recognizable voices in the world. I can’t imagine any other voice that could have provided a backdrop to Rev. Graham’s ministry more perfectly than that of Bev Shea. And anyone that has ever met him will tell you: as big as his voice is, his heart is even bigger.
Bev is truly one of the most remarkable people I’ve had the privilege to know. Like millions of others, I have been blessed by his talent. And like so many of others, I’ve been blessed by his friendship.