Words of Gratitude

Political and faith leaders expressed thanks to God as they reflected on Billy Graham's worldwide impact

From the halls of power to the humblest of homes—in virtually every nation on earth—God used Billy Graham’s simple preaching of the Gospel to convict hearts and draw millions to salvation through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And at Mr. Graham’s homegoing, statements flooded the media as people sought to put into words what the evangelist meant to them.

 

We can only imagine the number of lives touched by the preaching and the prayers of Billy Graham. The hearts he changed. The sorrows he eased. And the joy he brought to so many. The testimony is endless.

—President Donald Trump 

 

We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

—Vice President Mike Pence

 

Billy Graham was a humble servant who prayed for so many— and who, with wisdom and grace, gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans.

—President Barack Obama

 

Billy Graham lived his faith fully, and his powerful words and the conviction they carried touched countless hearts and minds.

—President Bill Clinton

 

Billy Graham was America’s pastor. His faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people across the country and around the world. I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man. I was privileged to have him as a personal friend. … We will miss our good friend forever.

—President George H.W. Bush

 

A great man, a humble servant and a shepherd to millions has passed on. Billy Graham was a consequential leader. He had a powerful, captivating presence and a keen mind. He was full of kindness and grace. His love for Christ and his gentle soul helped open hearts to the Word, including mine.

—President George W. Bush

 

Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve.

—President Jimmy Carter

 

The Great Commission is as simple as it is clear: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Few men in history have received that instruction as humbly, or carried it out as diligently, as Reverend Billy Graham.

—Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta

 

One night I asked Billy, “Of all your ministry life, what did you enjoy the most? Maybe being with presidents and kings? Maybe leading millions to the Lord?” He took his hand and swung it across the table as if to wipe my lame suggestions to the floor. He said, “Joe, my greatest joy has been my fellowship with Jesus. To know His presence, to hear His wisdom, to have His guidance.” Then he said it again: “The greatest joy of my life has been my fellowship with Jesus.”

—Joseph Stowell, president, Cornerstone University

 

Billy Graham was a gift from God to this nation and this world. … He was a truth-teller and the greatest preacher of the simple Gospel message in history. … I wrote down in my journal this week, “The megaphone is gone. All us little microphones better turn up the volume.”

—David Jeremiah, pastor and author

 

A great man of God, Billy Graham, has gone to Heaven. Heaven is richer and earth poorer as a result. … One of the secrets to his success was he never touched the glory. He always realized it should go to God, and he gave it to God throughout his entire life.

—Greg Laurie, pastor and evangelist

 

Our Lord has two requirements for those men of God who represent Him—truth and virtue—that such men honor Him by lifelong faithfulness to preaching the true Gospel and validating that preaching by an enduring life of godliness. Billy Graham served His Savior in both ways.

—John MacArthur, pastor and author

 

I couldn’t think of a greater tribute to Billy Graham than the testimony of changed lives—the decision they made to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, having heard the Gospel through God’s servant, Billy Graham.

—Don Wilton, pastor of First Baptist, Spartanburg, S.C., and Mr. Graham’s personal pastor

 

Early in my career I had the incredible opportunity to travel with this man [and] stand in stadiums as thousands listened to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He stood against segregation … along with Dr. King. Married for over 60 years. Character, integrity and passion for all people. If only I could be a shadow of this man.

—Kirk Franklin, musician

 

Rejoicing with my precious friend, Billy Graham. Without a doubt, the finest man I ever knew. So grateful that I am among the millions that he led to faith in Jesus and the promise of eternal life.

—Kathie Lee Gifford, co-host of The Today Show, NBC

 

Billy Graham was a man of extraordinary anointing and extraordinary humility. His was demonstrably a long obedience in the same direction. His loss will be felt deeply. I doubt any one person can ever take his place. … Thank you, Billy, for how you lived and for your impact upon my life and indeed our whole world.

—Ravi Zacharias, apologist

 

When I think of Billy Graham, I think of Acts 20:24, which says, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Mr. Graham has finished the race, he’s completed the task. And I’m just grateful I had the chance to run alongside him.

—Joni Eareckson Tada, founder of Joni and Friends