ArticlesBlogMarcus Grodi

Marcus Grodi’s Remarks on the Passing of Billy Graham

Marcus Grodi
February 23, 2018 35 Comments

I was very saddened, yet at peace, to hear of the passing of Dr. Billy Graham. I have had tremendous respect and admiration for Dr. Graham my entire life.

As a young man, sitting alone in front of a black and white television set, I first gave my life to Christ in response to Billy’s televised invitation from the New York Madison Square Garden crusade. In seminary, I had the privilege of meeting him—I preached my first chapel sermon with him sitting in the 3rd pew!—and I had the honor of shaking his hand when I graduated. His life-long response to grace, his integrity, and his single-focused desire to give all to Jesus Christ, has long been a model for my life. 

“Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” That was St. Paul’s motto, as it was certainly Dr. Graham’s. I read once that when Billy preached his first Boston crusade, Cardinal Cushing ordered the local Catholic newspaper to find the largest font, and print the headline, “BRAVO BILLY! Give me ten of him and I’ll change the Church!”

There is no question in my mind that the rise and increase of Evangelical faith in Christ around the world and across denominational lines, in the late twentieth century and on into today, is due largely to the faithful obedience of this loving servant of God. May the Lord grant him mercy and rest.

Marcus Grodi

Marcus Grodi is Founder and President of The Coming Home Network.

  • Jim Kolan

    Thank you, Mr. Grodi, for sharing your memories of Dr. Graham. If only we could all accomplish what he did during his lifetime. You and the CHN can be proud that you are doing your share. God bless.

  • Elizabeth Schaetzke

    Truly, he was a man of God. Thank you for sharing your memories of Dr. Graham.

  • Richard

    Yes I do see him as a true Christian hero. His friendship with John Paul II was what changed my mind in part about him. My he rest in peace.

  • Father James Dean

    As great as he was – and he was a wonderful man of God! – think about the even greater effect he would have had with the fullness of the truth and the grace of all of the sacraments!!

    • Coming Home Network

      Amen and Amen!

    • Revert

      You have got to be kidding me right father? If more Preece would preach the Carrigg Meyer the way the Billy Graham did we would not have six Catholics leaving the church for everyone baptized!

      • Revert

        That is priests and the kerygma-sorry for the dictation mistakes in spelling as a result of driving

        • Marty Dancy

          You should not be texting and driving! Pull over and use your phone or tablet.

          • Revert

            Way to stay on message! And by the way I was not driving and texting .

          • daniel gross

            He had stopped on the side to sip from a flask. Relax.

        • Father James Dean

          AMEN – with the corrections, of course!!!

          • Revert

            OK now we’ve moved from the death of Billy Graham to mockery Way to go Father!

            • Father James Dean

              Mockery? Really? It was not meant to be. I really don’t know how you thought that??

    • Rosemary C

      Father, I understand where you are coming from; I was thinking the same thing the other day when he passed. But in retrospect, I remember being a young Catholic girl and going to one of his crusades in Denver with my Protestant friend & her parents, not quite sure I ‘should’ go. He was amazing! And my Catholic parents loved watching him on TV. Perhaps God knew exactly where he wanted Billy in this secular world. He was the Protestant Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Catholics would not have accepted his ‘style’ and ‘non-Catholics’ would have rejected his theology; he most likely would not have reached the millions of people he touched with the Good News of Jesus Christ. One thing is for sure – he NOW has the fullness of faith! God bless you Father. Our priests are such a gift to us! Rosemary C

      • Father James Dean

        Thanks, Rosemary… he certainly touched many lives with God’s love and Jesus’s message of saving grace. I was thinking the same thing – we will ALL know the fullness of God’s truth when we meet Him after our deaths.

      • Lauren

        Billy Graham was NO Archbishop Sheen, by any measure. Not even close. B.G. insisted on preaching heretical doctrines & refusing to enter the Church.
        There is a place in the afterlife for such persons, & it isn’t heaven (consult the CCC if you disagree….)

        • revert

          I disagree profoundly-you best watch out for where you end up!

          • Lauren

            O, thanks, Glad you’re around to tell me that.

            Do get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church & read the statement, “There is no salvation outside the Church.” (For those who know of the Church & refuse to enter into her.. Like B.G.)

    • Bernadette LaPaglia

      No Father Dean, with all due respect, this is hardly the time 2 introduce an ‘if only.’

      But given ur response, it is the time 4 u 2 redouble ur own Devotion (perhaps 7 x 7, even 70 x 70 etc.) in fulfilling what beckons us now in the Light of his passing.

      He was a noble & courageous man -a Minister in Christ.

      You, dear Father, r a Priest.
      There is a Divine distinction.

      • Father James Dean

        AMEN… yes, I need to redouble my devotion to our Lord!! And may more of our priests be noble and courageous!!

        • Bernadette La Paglia

          Yes, indeed, dear Father.! This is the spirit of Billy’s baton that he’s now handed on -hoping we will grasp it w grit & determination cuz it’s up 2 us whether or not it lives on…

    • daniel gross

      Careful, Father. I personally came to Our Lord in the privacy of my USMC barracks head, reading Graham’s PEACE WITH GOD. The clarity of the call to embrace Christ as Saviour was not something I had been exposed to in my years in Catholic ed – for various reasons, of course, which included, I have no doubt, adolescent foolishness and cognitive limitations. Still, all the priests – many good and several quite bad – had not, “with the fullness of truth and the grace of the sacraments”, versed me on responding to the salvific content of the gospel, though I could speak with some clarity on such matters as Gilgamesh and then current post Vatican 2 fads.

  • Gregory

    Truly, inspiration Dr. Graham spoke in was unabashed truth, and an underlining love in Christ. The miracles witnessed, were not only the amount of people he pulled into faith, but the ability to cross so many denominational lines; inspirational and universal. Peace to him.

  • Jane

    My first Christian friend (when I was 40!) had taken her husband to Billy Graham (like Marcus) where he accepted Christ. These dear protestant friends welcomed and loved my husband and me as curious secularists, sitting in the pews of their small church. My conversion to belief in God came like a bolt of lightening one random Sunday, as I stared at the stain glass windows during a sermon. Fast-forward, faith in Jesus came next…and 20 years later, I am Catholic. Billy Graham planted many seeds. Likewise, we must do our part to water and nurture the seeds he planted. I am a flower on a plant set into the ground by Billy Graham. Blessed. And thankful!

  • Leslie Lefevre Hanson

    Amen! God really blessed him as he blessed God and people all over the world. Thank you for your reflection Marcus.

  • dlowry8

    Marcus, thanks for your grace-filled comments. Billy Graham said a few years ago (wording from my memory): “Some day you are going to read in the newspapers that I am dead. No, for the first time ever I will be fully alive!” He went on to talk about being in the presence of his beloved Lord.

    Back in late December 1957 at InterVarsity’s Urbana Conference, I walked into the library at the University of Illinois and heard a familiar voice right behind me. It was Billy Graham. An encounter of a few moments, and a privilege!

    Doug Lowry

  • Steve Needham

    Well said, Mr. Grodi. He was a true servant of God.

  • Jim Nowakowski Sr.


  • Dora Donovan

    I have a feeling that the words “Well done good and faithful servant.” apply to Billy Graham. Eternal rest Grant unto him O Lord and may Your Perpetual light shine upon him and may He rest in peace!

  • Revert

    Wow I think you have some problems!

    • ADAM

      1. “CHEAP GRACE” (i.e., the “once saved, always saved” heresy)
      2. “CHRISTIAN ZIONISM” (i.e., Jesus was not a Zionist.)

      • Ken Hensley

        Yes, cheap grace is false and so, I believe, is Christian Zionism. Is it your position that no one can be saved who doesn’t have his theology straight from A to Z?

        • ADAM

          “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly, for we all fall short in many respects.” (James 3:1,2)

  • Matthew McCormick

    I went to a Billy Graham revival, as a lifelong Catholic, in Minneapolis in 1996. I went up for the “altar call” when time came. The very polite young assistants of Dr. Graham did not know what to make of me. They asked me “Where do you go to church?” I said, “St….” And, “Who is your pastor?” I said, “Fr….” Everyone was exceedingly polite, and I had a marvelous time!

  • Richard

    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ after reading the many comments I must say the following. Our Lord said that those not against us are for us. Only God can judge each soul, he is the one that knows each heart and the works of love each has done following Christ. We must be careful not to become Pharisees or Gnostics ourselfs. We wish to bring other Christians to the fullness of truth but it is God who is in control. Peace to you all.