‘They’re Right There’: Why Longtime BGEA Supporter Is Still Giving at Age 86

By   •   November 26, 2018

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is one reason Alberta Klement supports the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Crisis-trained chaplains deploy at a moment's notice to disasters including hurricanes, tornadoes and mass shootings. A team of chaplains is currently ministering in California after the horrific wildfire outbreak.

At 86 years old, Alberta Klement is one of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s (BGEA’s) longtime supporters. Still active, spry and sharp, Alberta also doesn’t miss a thing when it comes to the ministry.

In 2014, BGEA released a documentary about Olympian and WWII POW Louis Zamperini’s journey to faith in Christ.

Captured by Grace. I saw that,” Alberta said.

Last month, Franklin Graham went to Monterrey, Mexico, to preach the Gospel.

“I saw that, and I prayed for him,” she said. “My father still has family there.”

Just a couple of weeks ago, BGEA unveiled a new half-hour video about Billy Graham’s ongoing legacy.

Yep, Alberta saw that, too.

“I love Billy Graham, and I just miss him,” she said. “And I still follow Franklin.”

She says she first heard about Billy Graham sometime around 1950, the year the BGEA was born. Her parents became Christians in the mid-1940s. She remembers reading her father’s copy of Paz Con Dios, the Spanish version of Billy Graham’s 1953 classic, Peace with God.

Since then, she’s been an avid reader of Decision magazine and many of the Graham family’s books. She also gives regularly to BGEA—something she has done for many decades, in addition to supporting her church.

Alberta Klement with her son and grandson.

When asked why she still makes room in her budget to support the ministry, Alberta is quick to answer.

“Oh my gosh, well, just what the association is doing all over. Wherever you hear of a tornado or a hurricane, they’re right there. The association is right there. That’s why I keep supporting them,” she said, referring to the ministry of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains.

“And who couldn’t love Billy Graham and his wife?” she added.

Billy and Ruth Graham were married for 63 years; Alberta and her husband were married for almost 50 years. After he had a stroke in 1993, Alberta spent the next nine years taking care of him and reading to him—oftentimes Decision magazine articles. She has the assurance that he’s been with Jesus since he passed away in 1999—and that he has since been joined by Mr. and Mrs. Graham.

As Franklin Graham leads the BGEA forward, determined to keep the ministry’s mission exactly the same, Alberta looks forward to what’s ahead as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed around the world.

“I’m so proud of Franklin and his family,” she said. “Anne [Graham Lotz] is in there doing a great job, too. They’re doing a super job, and I’m just proud of them.”

Alberta is quick to say she wishes she could give more to the ongoing ministry, but her faithful gifts—and those of so many others who give sacrificially, sometimes a dollar or two at a time—are deeply appreciated.

As Billy Graham recognized from the earliest days of his ministry when a woman sent in 10 cents to support his first radio program, God can use willing hearts to accomplish His work. And He’s still working through the faithful sacrifices of His people today.