2008: Reflecting on a Year of Ministry

By   •   December 24, 2008

The past year was remarkable — Billy Graham turned 90, George Beverly Shea reached 99, The Billy Graham Library lit up Charlotte in December, and Franklin Graham preached at Festivals from Knoxville to Belfast.

But, it was also a year when the Rapid Response Team deployed 30 times to disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and another campus shooting. We sent aid to China following a devastating earthquake and watched our national economy stumble.

Through the ups and downs, we have endeavored to bring you the quickest, most up-to-date coverage. Please join us in reflecting on how God has moved and used this ministry in 2008.

1. Billy Graham Turns 90
America’s Pastor received more than 120,000 letters and email messages from people influenced by his ministry, while family and close friends gathered at a November banquet to celebrate. Some highlights:
Birthday Banquet Honors Billy Graham »
Billy Graham Turns 90 as Nation Transitions to New Leadership »

2. Christmas at the Billy Graham Library
‘Twas the season to start a new Christmas tradition with family and friends! Thousands of sparkling lights illuminated the grounds and guided guests along the brick paths, through the glass doors of the Library, and into a world of wonder.

3. George Beverly Shea Celebrates His 99th Birthday
With more than 70 albums, hundreds of recorded solos, a place in the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame, and a Grammy award, George Beverly Shea’s warm voice is recognizable worldwide.
Cliff Barrows & George Beverly Shea: How sweet the sound »

4. Rapid Response Team Concludes Busiest Year Ever
As 2008 winds to a close, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is reflecting on a year that has brought more tragedy – and thus more deployments – than any prior year in the ministry’s history.
Rapid Response Team Concludes Busiest Year Ever »
Chaplains Respond to Campus Shooting in Northern Illinois »

5. Run for Hope
While Kendra Graham discovered her love for running, she also had a chance to learn more about the My Hope World TV Evangelism Project through BGEA. Soon she decided on a singular purpose for her training: she would run to raise funds for My Hope. Others soon joined in:
Run for Hope: Bring Good News to the Nations »

6. Franklin Graham Brings Festival to East Tennessee
The first domestic Festival of 2008 seemed to attract the greatest interest. Our coverage from Knoxville came in at number one among the U.S. events. See why:
God’s Light Shines in Knoxville »
Bands & Bikes Fuel Festival Fever »
A New Day in Knoxville »

7. BGEA Ministers Across Asia
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association chartered a Boeing 747 Cargo plane as part of a joint effort with relief organization Samaritan’s Purse to send urgently-needed supplies to China, following a May earthquake. Franklin Graham also made ground-breaking visits to China and North Korea in 2008. China Earthquake: Aid In The Aftermath »
Franklin Graham Preaches to 12,000 in China »
A Ministry of Reconciliation in Korea »

8. Franklin Graham Brings Hope to Ireland
The first international Festival of 2008 garnered the most interest by our readers. Read about this remarkable Celebration of Hope:
Celebrate New Life in Belfast »
The Right Time for Belfast »

9. 106.9 the Light Receives Numerous Awards
Not only did our station continue Billy Graham’s legacy of using the airwaves to reach millions with the Gospel, 106.9 The Light did it with excellence throughout the year.

10. BGEA Videos Attract Attention … and Souls
The talented individuals who work in the BGEA television and event production department continue to break ground in using video to share the Good News. Many new videos debuted on the web this year, two of which jumped to the top of the stats.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dare to be a Daniel
Inspired by the biblical story of Daniel, a teenage prophet who dared to stand for God in the midst of a perverse culture, Dare to Be a Daniel equips tweens to live out the Christian faith, dares them to love others like Jesus did, and trains them to share the Gospel with their friends.

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