By Mike Stallard, Douglas McLachlan, and David Gunn

I can never hate the man who should receive a lot of credit for my coming to Christ. Over the years I have disagreed with Dr. Graham on many things he has said and practiced. I believe differently about the details, and I do things in church work differently than Dr. Graham. But I have never come to a place where it seems okay for me to vilify him as I have seen others do over the years.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was the only preacher I would give serious attention to. I do not know why that is the case. But when Billy Graham came on television, I was riveted. His message forced me to confront my own inner shortcomings or sins and to consider a remedy. During that time I had been under the delusion that by mustering up enough good efforts I could somehow overcome my faults and earn credit with God. The message I heard was that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. I simply had to accept what God had done through Jesus on my behalf. This claim rolled around in my mind during my high school and college years, although I did not act upon it right away.