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Clerics on times and life of Billy Graham

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Rev. Billy F. Graham / AFP PHOTO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Larry W. Smith

When Cable News Network (CNN) announced the passing away of the world-renowned evangelist, Billy Graham on Wednesday, many of his admirers, especially the Christian community were shocked, notwithstanding his age at 99. The late Graham’s impact was not only felt in America, which he tried to transform through his preaching, he also visited many other countries, including Nigeria in the course of preaching the gospel and winning souls for Christ. He received several awards for his efforts in the Lord’s vineyard. According to a spokesman, Graham died at his home in Montreal, North Carolina. What do Nigerian clerics have to say about this great man of God and his demise? CHRIS IREKAMBA reports

‘He Was A Non-compromiser’
(Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, National General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN)
His life was Christ-like. He lived and practised what he preached. He never compromised and so, it was a race that he finished very well. His life is a challenge to all Christians to maintain what we preach, live and practise it.

I’m so happy that he is now home with the Lord, resting from the sufferings of this earth. He finished well and it is the prayer for all of us to finish well.

‘He Lived For Christ And Has Gone Home To Be Rewarded For His Service’
(Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, General Overseer, CharismaticRenewal Ministries/National Vice-President (PFN)
Billy Graham was a spiritual colossus, whose evangelistic ministry bestrode the globe for more than 70 years. He brought intellectual content and impeccable integrity into the gospel ministry and remains one of the world’s best examples of an authentic minister of the gospel. He spoke the truth to power, having personally spoken the gospel to about 180 heads of state across the globe.

In his native country of USA, he had the ears of all the presidents during the period of his active ministry. Billy Graham will be remembered for his reverence of the Bible as the word of God and for his prodigious drive to preach the gospel to every human being on earth.

He founded the Lausanne Movement for world evangelisation, whose goal was to mobilise the church and take the gospel to the whole world. What a man of Godly vision!

Billy Graham lived for Christ and has gone home to be rewarded for his services to the kingdom of God. We will miss him.

‘God Mightily Used Billy Graham In The Area Of Soul Wining’
(Bishop Lawrence Osagie, Presiding Bishop, Powerline Bible Church, Worldwide)
He was a man that was mightily used of God in the area of soul wining, and he was consistent until his death, preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The simplicity of his presentation and the number of people that were attracted to Christ through him was phenomenal. He was a great man and greatly loved around the world.

‘He Was An Outstanding Evangelist, Who Visited Nigeria In The 1960s’
(Rev. (Dr.) Wilson Badejo, former General Overseer, Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria)
Billy Graham had been an outstanding evangelist since the 1960s. He was really a word changer and word imparter. We are sorry we couldn’t have more of him, but he lived a faithful and very worthwhile evangelistic life to the glory of God.

He came to Nigeria many times and I had opportunity of meeting him. And we believe that he had completed his own assignment and is back to his Maker. We believe he deserved a restful repose in the presence of the Lord. He visited Nigeria in the 1960s and you won’t believe it, the crusade held along Marina as of that time and it was quite successful. He came back thereafter and the dates I can’t remember.

‘We Lost A Trailblazer’
(Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Benebo Fubara-Manuel, President, Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN)
Evangelist Billy Graham was a leader that set a new direction for evangelical Christianity in Nigeria in the 20th century. He kept himself within the main line of evangelical Christianity and was committed to his vision. He lived a life of accountability in evangelicalism. He submitted himself to the authority of his Association and received what they gave him as his due. He did not have a life, where people run down others in order to succeed. Rather, what he did was to raise up the Scripture in order to make a name. So, you would see through his life as an evangelist that he did not have the quarrelsome attitude, of hatred when people held him down or tried to incite him. He did his very best to pass them by and remained focused. He was also a man of great faith, faith for money to run evangelism even when everything around him seemed impossible. Billy Graham stuck out his neck trusting God that it would be possible. He was a man, who believed that every one would hear the gospel. He would never lose any opportunity given to make Jesus Christ known.

‘He Did What Most Of His Contemporaries Could Not Do’
(Pastor Tunde Bakare, Senior Pastor, Latter Rainy Assembly)
OH, may his soul rest in perfect peace. He was a great man in his time. He did what most of his contemporaries could not do, which even so many people forgot. His legacy would continue. He was a great man, a great soul and great departure.


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