Mourning and Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Rev. Billy Graham in Minnesota

Billy Graham at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in 1973. Photo Credit Getty Images

We mourn the loss of Rev. Billy Graham while we celebrate his legacy and great influence in spreading the message and hope of Jesus Christ all over the world, especially right here in Minnesota.

Graham was monumental in shaping the evangelical landscape of Minnesota as the youngest president of the University of Northwestern St. Paul from 1948 to 1952. Graham has a lasting impact on the Twin Cities; by helping launch a Christian radio station 98.5 KTIS, founding the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, headquartered in Minneapolis from 1905 until 2003, at one point employing 350 people at the office, and through his many evangelical crusades.

Rev. Graham’s many international crusades included local revivals in 1950 and 1961 in Minneapolis, in 1973 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and in 1996 at the old Metrodome. After his 1973 crusade at the State Fairgrounds, the St. Cloud Times newspaper reported 16,520 people made decisions for Christ, including River Valley Lead Pastor Rob Ketterling.

Billy Graham leads a crusade at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in July 13, 1973. Photo Credit Getty Images

“In 1973 I was 7-years-old at a Billy Graham Crusade at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds when I gave my life to Jesus Christ.  I love this man, he has a huge place in my heart for him telling me and the world about Jesus and His forgiveness of sins if we ask for this forgiveness! Well done Billy Graham!” said Pastor Ketterling.

Graham shared his faith with world leaders, U.S. presidents, and masses of people who attended his crusades between the 1940s and 1990s.

Rev. Billy Graham with Dr. O.E. Sanden, Dean at Northwestern, in 1949.

His evangelical preaching about Christ’s free gift of salvation will continue to be spread for generations to come.

“Billy Graham’s work has a multi-generational impact. I’ve met countless pastors and leaders who today are leading churches across our state, following a heart transformation after hearing the message of Jesus through the ministry of Rev. Graham,” said Carl Nelson, President of Transform Minnesota. “The beautiful truth of Graham’s legacy is that those people who came to faith in Jesus through his ministry will continue to lead others to Christ.”

“Billy Graham was all about Jesus and millions will meet him in heaven because he introduced them to Jesus. Billy Graham was known for what most evangelicals want to be known for – the gospel of Jesus Christ, not politics,” said Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals.

We, at Transform Minnesota, are grateful for the life of Rev. Billy Graham, for his leadership, vision, faith and most importantly love of Jesus and others that he so freely shared with the world.

Billy Graham preaches at the Minneapolis Auditorium Sept. 18, 1950 (Current site of the Minneapolis Convention Center).
1961 Billy Graham Upper Midwest Crusade Song Book in Minneapolis

February 21, 2018