The Day Billy Graham Found Christ

By Edward E. Ham   •   October 28, 2009

The world already knows that Dr. Graham was converted during a meeting conducted by Dr. Mordecai Ham in Charlotte, N.C., in 1934, but some people do not know that a group of laymen, including W.F. Graham, Billy’s father, and T.W. Wilson, Sr., father of Graham’s associate evangelist, Grady, promoted the campaign.

Billy Graham has told the story of his conversion in numerous publications. Dr. Ham’s version, as confirmed by Billy’s father and by Grady Wilson, adds a few interesting details.

Dr. Ham relates: “Two young high school boys attended our meeting. They thought that everything I said was directed their way; so they decided to take seats in the choir, where I couldn’t point my finger at them. They didn’t pretend to be singers, but they wanted to be behind me.”

Grady Wilson agreed, “Neither of us could sing.”

Dr. Ham continues, “One night a man spoke to them during the invitation and said, ‘Come on; let’s go up front.’ Billy and Grady both went to the altar. Billy was saved, and Grady dedicated his life to Christian service.”

In telling of his experience later, Billy recalls how, on first attending the services of our meeting, he was impressed with the crowd. He had never seen such a crowd, nor such a big preacher … and fighter … and soon had all he wanted. Billy didn’t like being told that he was lost and going to hell.

He got out as soon as he could and said, “I am through,” but he was miserable all night and all the next day and admits, “I couldn’t get there soon enough the next night!”

In Billy Graham’s thinking, at that time, his hero was Babe Ruth. So far as he was concerned, nobody ever attended revivals like ours except a lot of old, effeminate men and crazy women and children. Our meeting changed his hero from Babe Ruth to Jesus Christ.

I recall I told Billy and Grady, after they came forward, to sit in the preachers’ section. Billy sat there for two months. The Lord seemed to be directing in everything, and what took place during the meeting didn’t seem to have an earthly explanation!

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  1. Milton Wrught says:

    When I was a boy, I heard Billy preach at the Billy Sunday tabernacle in Winona Lake, Indiana in 1948 or 1949

  2. Vijay says:

    Please pray for my father-in-law who is very sick now. Thank you for saving him since he has served Jesus all of his life, providing education to the poorest of the poor.

  3. Emy Ah sing says:

    Thank you Dr. Graham for preaching God’s Word. It really helps me a lot and please also remember me and my family in your prayers to be saved. May God bless us all.

  4. Steve Ruggiero says:

    Please pray for our son Charles who has accepted Christ and is now going through legal issues. The Lord seems to have a call on him and Satan is fighting back but we know HE will have the victory. Praise God!

  5. Gigi Burgess says:

    Please pray for my family to be saved, especially my niece, Noni.

  6. Charles Emmanuel McGee says:

    Please pray for me, from the moment I got saved on December 13, 2013 the world started going against me which I do understand. I’m a born again virgin, been doing drugs for over 30 years, drinking alcohol all my life’s never ever thought of going back to my past lifestyle. I’m on fire for Jesus Christ and nothing can hold me back. Please keeps me in your prayers that’s the Lord will use me to win millions of souls. I love the Lord so much that’s it is hard to explain it in words.

  7. doug taylor says:

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Amy Calton says:

    Thank you for preaching the gospel to let everyone hear the Good News found in Jesus Christ!! My Hope is awesome!!!

  9. Vince Cedrone says:

    Romans 8:1, Susie, is your answer. Meditate on that verse until it becomes who you are.

  10. susie newman says:

    please pray for me and my family. I truly believe that Billy Graham was called by the lord to preach. Please pray that the lord will give me peace and joy from the condemnation I feel almost always. I feel like the devil is attacking me because I’m trying to live a Christian life. Thank you so much.