Evangelist Billy Graham has died on Wednesday morning, according to officials of his organization. He was 99. Graham achieved a reach unlike any other evangelist, serving as a counselor or minister to a dozen U.S. presidents. He preached to an estimated 215 million people in 185 countries around the world during his life, and his message reached millions more as he maintained a near-constant presence on radio, television and the internet.
Graham also wrote more than two dozen books, including his 1997 memoir, "Just as I Am," which was a New York Times best-seller.
Now Christian artists have taken the time to pay their tributes to this great man of God.
Just thinking about the homecoming #billygraham received makes me weep tears of joy. Let's all carry on his legacy & help people find Jesus.
I wish I could have heard heaven this morning. This earth is now lacking his presence in the body but it pines and rings with the eternity that his life and words were the containers of, until this place is made whole again. Long live Billy Graham.
This morning we read that you had died, and we didn't believe a word of it. We know that you just changed your address. We honor your life and your devotion to win people for Jesus, and we are thankful for the legacy you leave - you will never be forgotten.
Well done good and faithful servant. Heaven is celebrating this incredible man today. His inspiring ministry changed millions of lives. Thankful for his legacy and impact on the earth.
"I was privileged to minister with Billy Graham many years ago at his South African crusade in Johannesburg.
But my greatest memory is the fact that my father in law (an Amish man) somehow heard Billy Graham preaching the simple message of salvation on a transistor radio (forbidden in the Amish) in 1959. He knelt down in a field and gave his life to Christ.
His words, "the sky got bluer, the trees and grass got greener."
Because of that moment, the entire family was saved, including my sweet Laura!"
Michael W. Smith:
"I knew it was coming....we all knew it was coming. Billy was 99 and his health had been declining for years. And I knew from my visits with him that he longed to be with his Creator and he longed to be reunited with his beloved Ruth. But, even given that, I was devastated when I got the news this morning that my good friend Billy Graham had breathed his last breath here on earth. He welcomed me on his stage countless times. Each and every Crusade was so special. But more than anything - I cherished the friendship we developed.
Friend, mentor, counselor, hero, leader, example, pastor - - he was so many things to me - - making the impact of his passing such a deep hurt. At the same time - I know Billy would be questioning why we grieve. Because he is now in paradise. He is face to face with the Jesus he so loved and served so well.
I bet his mansion is actually a log cabin - not that different than the one he and Ruth called "home" in the North Carolina mountains. I'm pretty sure it has a couple rocking chairs for he and Ruth and an endless line of heavens residents lined up to thank him for introducing them to Jesus.
I will miss Billy - the same way Debbie and I have missed Ruth. But I rejoice in the promise that we will someday be together in heaven."
"I was able to be with and perform for Billy Graham during his Farewell Crusade in NYC, thanks to Jim & Carol Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle and their choir. If the Bible was still being written, I feel like that moment would have been in it - thousands came to know Christ that day. It was one of the greatest moments I've ever had the opportunity to be a part of.
The impact and legacy of Billy Graham is immeasurable. There is perhaps no person who conveyed the love, grace and saving power of Jesus Christ so eloquently as Mr. Graham.
You know a lot about a person by the life they live but you know more about them by the way their family loves them. I am friends with his grandson Will, and he is one of the most kindhearted people I know. Every time we talk, he talks about how much he loves his grandfather and how much he has shaped the man he is today. I love this family so very much.
I just performed at Billy Graham Training Center's The Cove on Sunday night and Will shared a story about a new film that is coming out and the thing he was so excited about was that he was playing his grandfather in the film.
This morning, when I heard the news, I texted Will to convey my condolences. Will responded with a quote from his grandfather: "Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God."
That about sums it up."