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Happy Birthday to Rev. Billy Graham – A Man Who Always Treated Donors Well

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity …” Titus 2:7

Last week the Reverend Billy Graham celebrated his 95th birthday. Roughly 800 guests celebrated his birthday with the Graham family in Asheville, NC while Fox News channel aired a half hour special, billed as his “Last Sermon” and shown without commercial interruptions, that you can still see via the internet here. Even at this late stage of his life, he is using his still powerful presence to help bring the lost to Christ. Surely, few men have had as significant an impact for the kingdom as Billy Graham. Should you ever get to his hometown of Charlotte, NC (which is also MinistryWatch.com’s hometown) you should definitely set aside time to visit the Billy Graham Library, which does an excellent job of highlighting how the Lord used this man to such great effect over so many decades.

At MinistryWatch.com, we are not only impressed with the historical effectiveness of the ministry of Billy Graham, but also with how wisely he handled his great success. In recent MinistryWatch.com Updates, we have documented how some current pastors have lost their bearings as they rose to prominence, including mega-church pastor Steven Furtick (for the latest on the Furtick story please click on this link to WCNC’s latest report on Elevation Church and Pastor Furtick including an interview with MinsitryWatch.com Founder Rusty Leonard. Graham, however, always treated donors right. All of his book royalties went to his ministry, not into his own pocket. Each of his crusades produced full financial reports and his ministry always provides full audited financial statements to all who ask for them. There really was never even the slightest taint of financial scandal surrounding Billy Graham, despite his enormous success, which easily dwarfs that of any of the many ministers who now are enriching themselves through their own ministry efforts. Graham certainly did not live in poverty and no one would have expected that of him. But he has lived a life of admirable moderation in view of his prominence, turning his back on earthly treasures and thereby bringing glory to the Lord. He did not allow his personal life or a desire for riches to become a stumbling block to the message of salvation that he preached. We only wish more successful pastors would follow his wise example.