Two days before what would have been the late Rev. Billy Graham’s 100th birthday, N.C. Baptists adopted a resolution honoring the life, ministry and legacy of the renowned evangelist during the opening session of the 2018 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) Annual Meeting on Monday, Nov. 5 in Greensboro, N.C.
Graham was a native North Carolinian who God raised up to preach the gospel around the world through numerous evangelistic crusades. During his decades-long ministry, Graham preached to an estimated 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories.
Born Nov. 7, 1918, in Charlotte, N.C., Graham died earlier this year on Feb. 21. He was 99.
The “Resolution in Appreciation for the Life of Billy Graham” recognized Graham “as a beloved Southern Baptist who traveled the world sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.” It also called on individuals “to celebrate Billy Graham’s legacy by committing ourselves to sharing the gospel, living lives of personal holiness, and finding joy through an eternal peace with God accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
In recommending the resolution to messengers attending the Annual Meeting, Jonathan Blaylock, pastor of West Canton Baptist Church in Canton, N.C., and chairman of the BSC’s Committee on Resolutions and Memorials, said he felt the resolution “needed to be passed this year” as a way to recognize and honor Graham.
Messengers adopted the resolution in what appeared to be a unanimous vote.
Following the resolution’s adoption, BSC Executive Director Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. presented a plaque engraved with the full text of the resolution to David Bruce, who served as Graham’s longtime executive assistant.
Bruce said Graham was proud to be a North Carolina Baptist and that Graham attended several N.C. Baptist state convention meetings during his lifetime.
The full text of the resolution follows.
Resolution in Appreciation for the Life of Billy Graham
WHEREAS, Billy Graham was born on November 7, 1918, in Charlotte, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, Billy Graham, often called “America’s Pastor,” exuded a Christlike witness in American culture that spanned seven decades; and
WHEREAS, The life and ministry of Billy Graham is a testament of God’s promise to His church to raise up evangelists for the sake of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to every tribe, people, language and nation (Ephesians 4:11; Revelation 7:9); and
WHEREAS, In his lifetime, Billy Graham traveled to 185 countries on six different continents proclaiming the gospel to an estimated 215 million people, and he ministered to countless government and world leaders; and
WHEREAS, Billy Graham was an innovator in the advancement of the gospel through new technological mediums of his time; such as a radio ministry, television ministry, and internet ministry; and
WHEREAS, Billy Graham’s relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention was one of affection, cooperation, and church membership; and
WHEREAS, Billy Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, Billy Graham saw a vision for a training and retreat center for lay Christians and pastors become a reality at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, Billy Graham’s life modeled integrity, modesty, lifelong fidelity to one’s spouse, and humility despite worldwide acclaim; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, November 5-6, 2018, grieve the passing of Billy Graham on February 21, 2018, while also celebrating, honoring, and commemorating his life and ministry as a beloved Southern Baptist who traveled the world sharing the good news of Jesus Christ; and be it further,
RESOLVED, That we extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Billy Graham; and be it finally,
RESOLVED, That we desire to celebrate Billy Graham’s legacy by committing ourselves to sharing the gospel, living lives of personal holiness, and finding joy through an eternal peace with God accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.