Q: What did Billy Graham do when a loud party woke him up?
A: He gave a sermon in his bathrobe.
While working as an evangelist for Youth for Christ in 1947, Billy Graham was close to finishing a two-week-plus citywide Campaign (Crusade) in Augusta, Georgia.
One night at his hotel, the evangelist was awakened from a deep sleep around one a.m. by a loud party in the next room.
In his autobiography, Just As I Am, Billy Graham quipped, “Our Augusta Campaign clearly was not having any impact on the people in the hotel.”
Grady Wilson, who later became an original BGEA team member and was helping with the Campaign, went to Billy Graham’s room to complain about the noise. Billy Graham decided to put a stop to it—wrapping his bathrobe around him and pounding on the party room door.
The evangelist intended to tell them to quiet down but instead the preacher in him took over and he said, “I’m a minister of the Gospel.”
There was “pin-drop silence,” Graham said. “This was a bunch of South Carolina auto dealers who knew a Bible Belt evangelist when they saw one, even in his bathrobe.”
He continued, “I daresay most of this crowd are church members. Some of you are deacons and elders. Maybe even Sunday school teachers. I know your pastors would be ashamed of you, because you’re certainly not acting like Christians.”
Billy Graham’s words spurred a couple of the partygoers to confess. “That’s right, preacher,” one of them piped up. “I’m a deacon.” Another said, “And I’m a Sunday school teacher.”
After preaching what he called an evangelist’s sermon, Billy went back to his room. And though he’s not sure what happened to the party after he left, he didn’t hear any more noise that night.
—Paraphrased from Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham