Thursday, February 22, 2018

RICKY SKAGGS AND OTHERS RELEASE STATEMENTS ON PASSING OF REVEREND BILLY GRAHAM

Ricky Skaggs and Reverend Billy Graham
Nashville, Tenn. (February 21, 2018) — Upon learning the news of the passing of his longtime friend, Reverend Billy Graham, country music legend Ricky Skaggs released the following statement:
 
"I was up early this morning having my prayer time and Bible reading when I heard the news of Dr. Graham's passing. The first thing I did was to thank God for sending Billy Graham into this world. My youngest daughter Molly gave her life to Jesus watching him on TV during one of his Crusades. It's a story of millions of people just like Molly that came to Christ listening to Dr. Graham's simple message of God's love and forgiveness. There has never been an evangelist in our lifetime that has had the Christian integrity in ministry that Dr. Graham had. It was because he lived his life intentionally to honor Christ. He had righteous Godly men around him all the time, praying for him and praying with him everyday. He set up safeguards for his life as a husband, a father, and his life as a minister of the gospel. His ministry reflected his personal life and his personal life reflected his ministry. What a concept! He was above reproach, and he lived there always, because he never wanted to give anyone the slightest hint of doubt that he wasn't who he said he was. His desire, first and foremost, was to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with his whole heart. He knew who he was and he knew Whose he was. He knew he was a beloved son, yet calling himself a sinner. Hard to imagine, but humility will do that to you. He believed the words of John the Baptist, when John said of Jesus, 'He must increase and I must decrease,' great words to live by. I'm so thankful that I got know Dr. Graham and do some of his Crusades. The first one I did was in Columbus, Ohio at a baseball field. I was up on stage singing some songs and it was pouring down the rain, big sheets of rain. I thought, all these people will go home, no one could sit through this storm, but no one left, some had umbrellas but most of them didn't. Then all of a sudden, I looked and they were bringing Dr. Graham toward the stage in a covered golf cart, it stopped raining, it completely stopped. I knew then the favor of the Lord was on this man. I'm so grateful for the friendships I've made with the Graham family. Franklin is one of my dearest friends. I'm thankful that they allowed me and my family to come visit Dr. Graham and sing some songs, eat a hot dog, and pray with him at his home in Montreat, NC. The scripture says 'a man's gift makes way for him, and brings him before great and mighty men.' From President Truman to President Trump, 13 Presidents, Queen Elizabeth and countless other leaders of many nations, Dr. Graham's message has never changed. 'For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him shall never perish but shall have everlasting life.' Dr. Graham did not die, he just changed his address!"

-Ricky Skaggs

Billy was a great man that I admired, loved to watch when I had the chance, and always enjoyed talking the Bible with him. I thought a lot of him and the works he’s done. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family today.” – Jerry Lee Lewis

Billy Graham’s words of wisdom were music to the souls of the sinner, and the saved, alike. It was my great honor to be called upon to perform at Billy Graham’s Crusades. He was a true disciple, a dear gentleman, and a father-like figure to me... and millions. His impact—immeasurable. His passing—a celebration of a life well lived for God and for mankind. My prayers and gratitude go out to the Graham family—he will be missed, until we meet again.” – Randy Travis
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.
 
- Jason Crabb

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