Reverend Billy Graham died Tuesday February 20, 2018. He was at age 99. He will be remembered as one of the greatest Christian pastors in America and around the World. But he was also renowned for his unequivocal advocacy for racial equality, both in the United States and around the World.
Reverend Billy Graham refused to preach in South Africa during Apartheid, unless blacks and whites could sit together. "Christianity is not a white man's religion," Reverend Billy Graham then said, "Christ belongs to all people. ... the the ground at the foot of the cross is level."
Born from American South, which was under the the shackles of racism, he realized early on that he will have to use his evangelical mission to help break that evil legacy.
Although he did not actively march alongside civil rights activists, such as Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, and others, he preached messages of needed changes to American Christians, and mostly White southerners, with the emphasis on the contradictions between being a Christian, while supporting racism.
Billy Graham was in Australia at the time of Dr. King’s assassination. Recounting the moment he learned the news, he said: “I was almost in a state of shock. Not only was I losing a friend through a vicious and senseless killing, but America was losing a social leader and a prophet, and I felt his death would be one of the greatest tragedies in our history.”
About his own death, even though not welcoming the process itself, he said, in 1995, while in his late 70s: "I’m looking forward to it — I really am. I’ll be happy the day the Lord says, ‘Come on. I’ve got something better planned.' Think of a place where there will be no sorrow and no parting, no pain, no sickness, no death, no quarrels, no misunderstandings, no sin and no cares."
He has finally travelled to that wonderful place he envisioned and wanted others to aspire to.