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Billy Graham Named among 10 Most Admired Men in America For 59th Time; Franklin Graham Discusses Father's Humility

( [email protected] ) Dec 30, 2015 12:32 PM EST
After legendary evangelist Billy Graham was named among the ten most admired men in America for the 59th time, Franklin Graham opened up about his father's humility and dedication to sharing the Gospel.
Evangelist Billy Graham pictured with his son, Franklin Graham Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

After legendary evangelist Billy Graham was named among the ten most admired men in America for the 59th time, Franklin Graham opened up about his father's humility and dedication to sharing the Gospel.

Graham, 97, first made Gallup Poll's Most Admired Men list 59 in 1955 and has appeared on the list more than any other individual. The evangelist, who currently resides in Montreat, North Carolina, joins Pope Francis, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Ben Carson and others in topping the annual list.

In a Facebook post shared on Tuesday, Franklin Graham, 64, reflected on how his father remained humble and continued to point people to Jesus despite the many accolades he received throughout his lifetime.

"My father would say, 'It's not about me-it's all about the Lord Jesus Christ,'" the younger Graham recalled. "I remember years ago when he stood up to speak to a massive crowd of itinerant evangelists from around the world we had brought together for a conference-and they wouldn't stop applauding. He motioned for them to stop, but they wouldn't. He just kept quietly saying, 'He must increase, but I must decrease' (John 3:30). A good reminder to us all about what the focus of our lives should be."

In addition to advising numerous political leaders, Billy Graham is known for his crusades that brought the gospel to 215 million people, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

"Graham transcends many of the divisions that break us apart as a state, and also, Graham represents a time when it seems in retrospect that he was able to bridge ... those divisions," Billy Graham biographer Grant Wacker says.

In honor of Billy Graham's 97th birthday in November, Franklin Graham explained that while his father is no longer able to preach due to physical complications related to Parkinson's disease, his mind is clear, and his passion for sharing the Gospel is as strong as ever.

"His desire is still there to tell the world about God's love for them and how God sent His Son, Jesus Christ from heaven to earth to take the sins of all mankind to the cross, die, and arise on the third day," Graham wrote. "My father's desire is that all men and women everywhere would come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and trust Him and follow Him as their Lord."

Just before his birthday, Billy Graham released his final book: "Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond."

"Heaven seems a mystery to many people," Graham writes. "They wonder if Heaven is above the lofty clouds, or if Heaven will come down to earth. When I am asked, 'Where is Heaven?' I simply answer: Heaven is where Jesus is."

Graham testifies about his confidence in his salvation. "[Jesus] told His disciples, 'I go to prepare a place for you ... that where I am, there you may be also!' So when my earthly life has ended, and you wonder where I've gone, this will be the answer: I will be with Jesus-that's where I am."