News: Statement on the Death of Rev. Billy Graham

Statement on the Death of Rev. Billy Graham

Dear friends,

Many of us awoke this morning to the news of the passing from death to life of evangelist Billy Graham who was 99 years old. Today, the Colorado Christian University community mourns the loss of one of the most effective and faithful evangelists of the twentieth century.

Billy Graham preached the gospel to more people than anyone else in history. With a public ministry spanning over 60 years, he has been called America's pastor and evangelist. Yet he was also an evangelist to the world. He was a pioneer of mass media - who used the tool for mass evangelism. That is why his influence for the kingdom of Christ is beyond reckoning.

Born on a farm in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1918, he eventually preached the gospel message to 215 million people in live audiences in 185 countries and territories at more than 400 evangelistic crusades, missions, and rallies.

His message was simple yet powerful. For his authority he would simply say, "the Bible says," and then he would point to Jesus and the simple gospel. In short, there is forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life through His cross and resurrection. Graham preached this to common people all over America and the world, but he also preached it to heads of state and American presidents.

Part of his powerful influence is that Graham was known for his personal integrity. He, like all of us, was one who needed a Savior; yet he proclaimed this message everywhere, and also innovated many new means of getting the message out - through books, magazines, TV, satellite, internet, and conferences all over the globe.

It was my privilege to have met Billy Graham on five different occasions. I was always impressed by his humility and grace.

May we as a community of believers draw from his life and his example, to love God and to love people, and to share the gospel with boldness and conviction in our time. So today, as a university that strives to be Christ-centered, and devoted to this same gospel, we mourn this loss, but we also celebrate the culmination of a life well-lived for Christ and His Kingdom, and we recommit ourselves to training up a new generation of evangelists.

CCU will be commemorating Graham's life and legacy with a public lecture and panel hosted by our School of Theology in the weeks ahead.

Yours in His service,

Dr. Donald W. Sweeting