Michael Cassidy, founder of African Enterprise and honorary co-chair of the Lausanne Movement honours evangelist Billy Graham who died yesterday at the age of 99
It is with very deep personal grief and heart-rending sadness that I learned of the going home to glory of Billy Graham.
I came to Christ at university through a student converted at Harringay in 1954 [Billy Graham preached in the 12 000-seat Harringway Arena in London for three months in 1954].
I first saw evangelism happening when Billy Graham came to Cambridge in 1955, and I had an instant hero. My call to evangelism in the cities of Africa happened at Madison Square Garden in 1957.
And ever thereafter Billy Graham and John Stott became the two dominant influences in my life and ministry as African Enterprise developed. My personal debt to this Giant of Giants is therefore incalculable.
But the extraordinary thing is that literally multitudes of other gospel people around the world can claim Billy Graham as either their immediate or ultimate agent in conversion or the inspirational fountainhead of their ministries.
In our time this is surely without precedent or equal. His evangelistic ministry of incomparable success, and spanning the globe for decades, has secured for him a place of distinction in the whole sweep of Church History.
Then there is Billy Graham’s steadfast and gracious leadership of the worldwide evangelical movement generally and the Lausanne Movement specifically. This has been a sure and steadfast anchor for millions into biblical faithfulness, watered with love, humility and graciousness. It has also inspired multitudes — myself included — into evangelistic zeal.
Words can not express or measure what Billy Graham has meant to both Church and world in our time. We, therefore have to content ourselves with lifting a deep “DEO Gloria” along with profound thanksgiving for the life and work of this most special and humble servant of the Lord.
And to all in his family and close colleagues in BGA, we extend our deepest sympathy and our great love at this time of immeasurable loss.