Billy Graham turns 95. One of the most influential person in the world.
Billy Graham turned 95 on November 7th. Why was that important? Most people don't know who he is. Graham rose to prominence in the 1940's by speaking to large groups of people. Graham is an influential spiritual leader; he has had sitting meetings about faith with presidents ranging from Truman to Obama. He was also Spiritual advisor to presidents Eisenhower and Nixon. Although Graham himself is a Democrat he is influential across political lines with his work in the civil rights movements and as a spiritual leader.
Graham has Minnesota connections, and even more surprisingly a connection to The College of St. Scholastica. In 1947 the North Carolina born Graham became the youngest president of an American University at the age of 30. That university, is none other than The University of Northwestern- St. Paul who happen to be the College of St. Scholastica's athletic rivals in the UMAC conference.
Throughout his now close to millennium of spreading his message through large revivals and outdoor gatherings, Graham has reached countless millions of Americans. He has been given countless awards and been the Christian spiritual voice for the nation since World War II. He has also been often mentioned as "the greatest living American." Although he retired in 2005 due to his fragility and Parkinson's, Graham continues to be a spiritual leader through his countless media outlets and outreach programs throughout the country.
Graham's birthday was a star studded affair and showed how important the legacy he has created in America is: "A guest list that included former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Rev. Rick Warren, and businessmen Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump came to pay tribute to a man beloved for his humility and faithfulness." Although he could not muster the strength to preach from the pulpit as in his younger days, he did address the crowd momentarily, to loud applause.
Although he may be a saint in some people's eyes, he has also had his controversies making anti-Semitic remarks while Richard Nixon recorded it. He has been criticized for his Ecumenism in the past as well. Ecumenism is the religious belief that only people of the Christian religion can be included in the afterlife, this of course doesn't usually mesh well with other religions.
Billy Graham is one of the most influential living people in the world. He has had more influence over more people than arguably any other Protestant leader in the history of the world. Although we go to a Catholic school it doesn't hurt to know theological history, and Billy Graham is a living example of exactly that.