After traveling to over 50 countries and 47 states, evangelist Clayton King has noticed one thing about all humanity.
“Everywhere I go, I meet people that are exactly like the people in the Gospels I was preaching on,” said King, who also serves as the teaching pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, North Carolina.
“Very little has changed in 2,000 years. People are still struggling with the same insecurities, people are still trying to heal from the same trauma, people are still broken in the same places,” said King.
An author of 17 books, King recently focused on this in his latest book, Reborn: How Encountering Jesus Changes Everything.
Adopted at a young age, King didn’t know anything about his birth parents until he was 48 years old. Perhaps that made him even more sensitive to being adopted as a child of God and reliant on his heavenly Father.
“We need to be aggressively pursuing opportunities to share the Good News and we need to be bold. We don’t need to be shy. We don’t need to be quiet. We don’t need to be afraid,” King said. “People need the Gospel. They need their sins to be forgiven. They need hope. They need peace.”
That’s the same Gospel message preached by Billy Graham—who has been a faith role model for King.
“When I became a Christian at age 14, my parents and our church [and] everybody that I grew up around loved Billy Graham,” King said. “So when I became a Christian, he became the biggest influence on me. I began to study his ministry … his life … read all of his books.
“Since I knew I was called to be an evangelist, I wanted to study the greatest evangelist that had ever lived. I spent hours and hours and hours watching his sermons and reading the books about how he organized his ministry and how he always placed a high value on holiness and integrity,” King recalled.
And in 2006, King and his wife, Sharie, had the chance to spend an entire afternoon with Billy Graham at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.
Since then, King has been involved in some ministry events at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, shares daily sermons on the radio ministry 106.9 The Light and has become friends with fellow hobbyist of hunting and fishing, Will Graham. Wearing multiple hats, King also runs a nonprofit summer camp called Crossroads.
“At the end of the day, when someone asks me, ‘Why are you a Christian?’ If I boil it down to its simplest form, I’m a Christian because it makes sense and it feels right. Both things. It makes sense in my head and feels right in my heart. … I want to engage people’s heads and hearts.”
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