While we mourn the death of Billy Graham, we can look back and celebrate his life and the impact he has made for the Kingdom of God.
The numbers may seem to be only a small part of his ministry, but they represent much more than that. They point to the millions whose lives were changed because they heard “America’s pastor” deliver a clear gospel message.
2.2 billion – estimated number of people who heard him preach.
215 million – estimated number of people he preached the gospel to at live events.
2.2 million – estimated number of people at his crusades who responded to the invitations to become a Christian.
185 – estimated number of nations and territories where preached.
66 – years his radio program “Hour of Decision” was broadcast.
700 – number of stations around the world that carried “Hour of Decision.”
425,000 – subscribers to Decision magazine.
5 million – circulation of the newspapers which carry his column “My Answer.”
2 million – copies sold of his 1953 best-seller Peace With God.
61 – the record number of times Graham finished in the top 10 of Gallup’s poll of most admired men, that includes making it into the top 10 every year the question was asked since 1955.
21 — percentage of pastors in 2010 who said he was the most influential living pastor. That was the highest percentage of any pastor and three times the second most frequently cited one.
48 — percentage of Protestant churchgoers in America in 2016 who said they watched one of his sermons on TV. More than 1 in 10 said they had attended one of his crusades. Two-thirds had some contact with his ministry, either through his sermons or his writing.
33 – number of books he wrote.
13 – number of U.S. presidents with whom Billy Graham has met—from Harry Truman to Donald Trump.
1918 – born in North Carolina.
1934 – responded to the gospel under the preaching of Mordecai Ham, a traveling evangelist.
1939 – ordained by a Southern Baptist church.
2 – number of earned degrees: a diploma in biblical studies from Trinity Bible College and a B.A. in anthropology from Wheaton.
1943 – married to Ruth Bell, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries to China. Together they had five children.
6,000 – people who attended his first crusade, held in the Civic Auditorium in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
30 – age at which he became the president of Northwest Bible College in 1947, which at the time made him the youngest person to serve as a college or university president.
1949 – year of the Los Angeles crusade that launched him into national prominence.
8 – the number of weeks the L.A. crusade ran—five weeks longer than planned.
1950 – year the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was founded.
4 – number of months the 1957 New York City crusade in Madison Square Garden ran nightly.
$5 million – value of the five-year contract NBC offered him to appear on their network. He turned it down.
1963 – year he posted bail for Martin Luther King, Jr. after he was arrested during the civil rights protests in Birmingham, Alabama.
1973 – year he held his first crusade in South Africa and denounced apartheid. He corresponded with Nelson Mandela during the latter’s 27-year prison sentence.
1991 – year 250,000 people attended his crusade in New York City’s Central Park, his largest North American event.
2005 – his last official crusade was in New York City.
2007 – Ruth, his wife of more than 63 years, passed away.
2013 – on his 95th birthday, his last sermon, My Hope America, was broadcast on television stations across the country, including Fox News.
What number meant the most to you?
Was your life impacted by one his 33 books? Did his 63 years of marriage encourage your relationship with your spouse?
Were you one of the millions who responded to the gospel at a Billy Graham crusade?
Share your number and your story in the comments.