Billy Graham’s Birthday All About ‘The Cross’

By   •   November 7, 2013

Billy Graham 95th Birthday

A 95th birthday party sounded nice.

But when Billy Graham was asked about plans for such a landmark celebration, the world-renowned evangelist raised an eyebrow to his close friend and pastor.

“Would anyone want to come to my party?” Don Wilton shared Mr. Graham’s concern Thursday night.  “And he said this from the bottom of his heart.”

“He’s afraid people have forgotten who he is,” Franklin Graham said.

Billy GrahamClearly, that was not the case on Thursday at the Grove Park Inn. More than 800 honored Mr. Graham’s 95 years of life, including Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch, with dozens of media members clamoring for just one more glimpse of the “Pastor to the Presidents.”

And on a day where all eyes were on his 95th birthday and his new message was airing in primetime on FOX News, Mr. Graham wanted his celebration focused on one thing:

The cross.

“He’s the most humble man you’ll ever know,” North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said. ”He knows it’s not about him. It’s about the cross.”

The evening began with a showing of “The Cross,” a 30-minute My Hope America short film, featuring a Gospel message that Mr. Graham has passionately wanted to preach for the past three years, along with life-changing stories from musicians Lecrae and Lacey Sturm.

Franklin Graham became the night’s “Matthew” host, giving a short testimony about how he waited 22 years before realizing he “was sick and tired of being sick and tired,” and extended the same invitation to accept Christ.

The evening program wrapped up with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sharing about her mother making a decision to follow Jesus through a televised Billy Graham Crusade, which impacted her entire family for Christ.

“Billy Graham has been able to articulate this message more than anyone else,” Palin said. “He reminds us that Jesus is the only answer.”

FOX News host Greta Van Susteren finished off the night by leading a cupcake-and-candle-infused “Happy Birthday” group singing, bringing up Michael W. Smith, Lecrae, Lacey Sturm, Kathie Lee Gifford and Ricky Skaggs for musical harmony. She offered a personal gift to Mr. Graham “by not singing” herself.

Mr. Graham then addressed the crowd twice at the end of the program. First, to thank his ministry partner and dear friend, Cliff Barrows, “for all that you have meant to me through all these years.”  The second, to recognize his grandson, Edward Graham, an Army Major. “We’re so proud of you,” he said.

Billy Graham Rupert MurdochWill Graham, vice president of BGEA, is proud of his grandfather, whose ministry is still active, long past the normal retirement age.

“He realizes the calling that God gave him is for his whole life,” Will Graham said. “It’s not just for 60 years.”

Very few know this better than Cliff Barrows, 90, who has been a ministry partner with Mr. Graham for more than 60 years, and took one more opportunity to thank his dear friend.

“I thank God for every remembrance of you,” said Mr. Barrows, his voice crackling. “And I praise God for the journey we’ve had …

“With all my heart.”

Click here for local and national TV listings of “The Cross.”

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1,099 Comments

  1. Shirley W. Hill says:

    Billy Graham is one of God’s humble servants. I love to hear his classic sermons. They will live throughout eternity!!!!

  2. Bruno Franco says:

    GOD bless you!

  3. c m krishnappa says:

    excellent message for everyone and we came to know the real meaning of cross

  4. Phillip I'm Saved says:

    Happy Birthday to a great man, Mr. Graham I had the opportunity to attend one of your crusade in Dallas Tx. at the Dallas Cowboy’s stadium did’nt get to make it into the stadium because it was full,but I have to say I stayed out side the stadium to hear and watch you on the big screen and I was please with that knowing you were just feet away,that special day I received JESUS CHRIST as my LORD and Savior, THANK YOU Mr. Billy Graham for being that great man of GOD on this earth.

  5. Keenan Glasgow says:

    Thank you for your dedication to the gospel and the truth. Thanks you for being the salt and the light

  6. Natanael says:

    Grande pregador do evangelho de Cristo.Parabéns.!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Janet Child of God says:

    Watching you one night when I was at the end of another long day with three very young children and a husband that worked from early morning thru to very late most times out of town. The more you spoke the more empty I felt and then came the tears.

  8. Monica says:

    Although Catholic, Mom always made sure all 10 of us watched your crusades. WE all came away respecting you and Thanking God for sending us such a soldier for the gospel. A world without you DR. Graham will feel a great loss. Happy Birthday!

  9. Franklin says:

    Happy Birthday, Pastor Billy! What a precious legacy you have left to the world, the Cross of Jesus Christ is the only hope for humankind. To God Be the Glory.