Timeline: Billy Graham’s Life and Ministry

The following text and links to high-resolution photos can be used to create a timeline of the life of Billy Graham. Download a zipped file of all the high-res photos here.


1918

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Nov. 7
1934  Makes personal commitment to Jesus Christ at the age of 15 
 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1937 Preaches first formal sermon in front of a church audience at Peniel Baptist Church in Palatka, Florida
1939  Ordained as a Southern Baptist minister at Peniel Baptist Church 
1943

Receives B.A. from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois; marries Ruth McCue Bell

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1945 

Virginia Leftwich, first of five children, born (Anne Morrow, 1948; Ruth Bell, 1950; William Franklin III, 1952; Nelson Edman, 1958)

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1947 Holds first evangelistic “Crusade” in Grand Rapids, Michigan
1949

Captures the nation's attention with tent meetings in Los Angeles that run for eight weeks 

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1950

Founds the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis; served as president until 2001 

 

Begins Hour of Decision weekly radio program, broadcast around the world for more than 60 years

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1952 Authors newspaper column, "My Answer," syndicated to 5 million readers throughout the U.S.
1953

Holds a Crusade in Chattanooga, Tennessee, without segregated seating areas (more than a year before the Supreme Court decision banning racial discrimination) 

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1954 Launches international ministry with a Crusade at Harringay Arena in London
1955 

Named by the Gallup organization as one of the "Most Admired Men in the World" (eventually selected 61 total times)

1957

Launches prime-time TV broadcasts of Billy Graham Crusades

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

  Conducts a 16-week Crusade in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the longest Crusade during his ministry
1960s

Takes the Gospel behind Communist Russia's "Iron Curtain"  

1973 

Preaches in Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa; Graham declined invitations for 20 years until given assurance of an integrated crowd (photo: Durban)

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1978

Preaches in front of the "Wall of Death" at Auschwitz concentration camp

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1982  Preaches in the Soviet Union (Moscow) for the first time 
1983 

Presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the U.S. president can bestow on a private citizen

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1996 

Awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow on a private citizen

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

1997 Releases autobiography, Just As I Am, a New York Times best-seller
2001  Addresses the nation at the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
2005  Dedicates the 63-acre headquarters of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, relocated in Charlotte, North Carolina
 

Conducts final Crusade in New York City's Flushing Meadows Corona Park at age 86

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

2007

Dedicates 40,000-square-foot Billy Graham Library with son Franklin and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

 

Loses his wife of 63 years, Ruth Bell Graham

 

high-resolution photo (300 dpi)

web-ready photo (72 dpi)

2008  Celebrates 90th birthday 
2011   Releases 30th book, Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well
2013  During the week of his 95th birthday (Nov. 7, 2013), Billy Graham delivered his final message via more than 480 television stations. More than 26,000 churches participated in the My Hope America project, making it the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's largest evangelistic outreach in North America. 

 

MEDIA NOTE

Interview Requests: 704.401.3335
Other Media Inquiries: Media.Center@demoss.com
Latest Updates: @BGEANews or @DeMossPR
Multimedia: BillyGraham.org/Media or DeMoss.com/BillyGraham 

GENERAL PUBLIC Information: 877.247.2426 or BillyGraham.org

-30-