Billy Graham in Sydney — and the best decision Phillip Jensen ever made

Posted on February 23, 2018 
Filed under Encouragement, History, People

“I was just 13 when I first heard Billy Graham preach. At his urging, back on that autumn day in 1959, I decided to give my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. It was the best decision I have ever made and so I have remained for ever thankful to God for Billy Graham.

William Franklin Graham was one of the world’s global citizens, but this week, at age 99, he died in his native state of North Carolina. He preached in more countries to more people than any other man in history. Amongst his preaching tours he visited Sydney three times (1959, 1968, 1979). On each occasion the gospel he preached affected thousands – changing individuals, families and communities. His was a global mission that affected local communities. It was a high-profile ministry that transformed the lives of little people.”

– Read Phillip Jensen’s tribute to Billy Graham, and get a sense for the impact on Sydney of this preacher of the gospel.

Billy Graham Preaches in Sydney

Posted on February 23, 2018 
Filed under History, People, Sydney Diocese

“In ideal weather conditions, Billy Graham’s Sydney Crusade opened at the Show Ground with record first day’s crowd of over 50000 Dr. Graham’s address was simple, direct, and Bible based, of about forty minutes’ duration, concluding with an invitation for decisions…”

– In memory of his life, and with thanksgiving to God for his ministry – the Australian Church Record has re-published their report on the opening night of the Billy Graham 1959 Sydney Crusade.

(Photo from his 1979 Crusade, courtesy Ramon Williams.)

Christianity Today feature on Billy Graham

Posted on February 23, 2018 
Filed under History, People

Christianity Today – founded by Billy Graham in 1956 – has a special feature on its founder.

Albert Mohler gives thanks for Billy Graham

Posted on February 23, 2018 
Filed under Encouragement, People

In today’s issue of The Briefing, Albert Mohler gives thanks for Billy Graham – and also shares some personal reflections. (Billy Graham spoke at Albert Mohler’s inauguration at Southern Seminary.)


The text of Dr Mohler’s tribute is now online: The Preacher: Billy Graham and American Evangelicalism.

Peter Jensen ‘a new person’ after hearing Billy Graham

Posted on February 22, 2018 
Filed under History, People, Sydney Diocese

Dr Peter Jensen spoke with Dominic Steele at The Pastor’s Heart today, giving thanks for Billy Graham and his ‘the Bible says’ message.

Peter related how he left the 1959 Sydney Crusade knowing he was ‘a new person’.

Most encouraging. Many would benefit from watching this.

Watch at The Pastor’s Heart Facebook page – soon to be posted to the website.

(Peter also gives an update on GAFCON.)

And here’s an idea:

While Billy Graham’s name is in people’s consciousness, why not show Billy’s My Hope: The Cross video.

‘Billy Graham was on the wrong side of history’??

Posted on February 22, 2018 
Filed under Opinion

“When Billy Graham stands before the judgment seat of God, he may finally realize how badly he failed his country, and perhaps his God. On civil rights and the environmental crisis, the most important issues of his lifetime, he championed the wrong policies.

Graham was on the wrong side of history.

The world’s most famous evangelist let his apocalyptic anticipation of the coming kingdom of God blind him to the realities of living in this world. …”

– Well, that didn’t take long. From The Guardian.

Sadly reminiscent of this April 2000 article by John Shelby Spong, one-time bishop in the Episcopal Church of the USA –

“If Christianity is to survive into the future, it will have to evolve radically beyond the images employed by Billy Graham. It will be forced to become something new and different. It will have to surrender its claims to miracle, magic and exclusiveness. …

A radically reformed Christianity will have to rethink the traditional understandings of Jesus who will become not a rescuing divine savior who paid the price of sin on the cross of Calvary…”

Those who know the Lord Jesus also know that Billy Graham was on the right side of history. Photo: BGEA.

Dominic Steele to speak with Peter Jensen about Billy Graham – 3:00pm today

Posted on February 22, 2018 
Filed under History, People, Sydney Diocese

From Dominic Steele at The Pastor’s Heart Facebook page:

“Former Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen will speak live with Dominic Steele this afternoon in a special edition of The Pastor’s Heart, remembering … Billy Graham, who has died aged 99.

Billy Graham’s 1959 Crusade was perhaps, at a national level, the closest Australia has come to what could be described as a revival.

Peter Jensen himself became a Christian listening to Billy Graham that day.

Write ‘Billy’ in the comments below to be notified when ‘The Pastor’s Heart’ is live.

The full interview will be available later at”

3:00pm AEDT today (Thursday 22nd February 2018)

Dr Billy Graham’s life and influence

Posted on February 22, 2018 
Filed under History, People

Anglican Media Sydney has made available Russell Powell’s 2008 interview with David Aikman on his book “Billy Graham: His Life and Influence”.

Well worth 5 minutes of your time.

With great thanksgiving for Billy Graham 1918–2018

Posted on February 22, 2018 
Filed under People

Billy Graham at the age of 99, has been called home to be with the Lord.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has the news.

The Gospel Coalition has a number of feature articles linked from their home page.

In  the Lord’s providence, Billy Graham and his team had a huge impact on Sydney in 1959 – and in the years since. We are sure that much will be written about the 1959 Sydney Crusade.

In the midst of all the thanksgiving for Billy, please consider this:

Do you need to get right with God? Do you need to find new life in Christ? –

You could do a lot worse than to listen to Billy’s message, given at the Sydney 1959 Crusade, on the subject: “The Certainty of Death”.

(His other messages in Sydney can be heard here.) Then find a church.

Archbishop of Sydney Dr Glenn Davies has issued this statement:

The world has lost one of the most significant figures of the late twentieth century with the news of Billy Graham’s death on 21 February in his 100th year.

Billy Graham’s extensive ministry has affected the lives of millions of people around the globe, and under God, hundreds of thousands of people have been brought to faith in Jesus Christ through his anointed preaching ministry.

We in Australia are especially grateful for his first visit to our country in 1959, where his crusade in Sydney of that year had all the hallmarks of revival with increased church attendance, increased candidates offering themselves for the ministry and a marked effect on criminal statistics with fewer crimes being committed. His visits in 1968 and 1979 were again welcomed by church leaders, which again saw an increased level of cooperation among the Churches and many people becoming Christians.

Billy Graham was passionate about Jesus Christ and unrelenting in finding ways to persuade people to put their trust in the Saviour of the world.

We have lost a giant among us – but the angels in heaven rejoice in his arrival in his eternal home.

Dr Glenn Davies,

22 February, 2018 AD

And has this tribute.

Top image: BGEA. Second image – Billy with Archbishop Marcus Loane at the 1968 Sydney Crusade, courtesy of Ramon Williams.

Will we be Free?

Posted on February 21, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“Until last week, Sky News’ Paul Murray supported the same-sex marriage campaign.

But the goodwill is fading. Speaking on his nightly program, Murray conceded what we have always forewarned: rainbow advocates are now asking for all protections for religious freedom to be ‘blown up.’

That is, the scant protections that already exist. Not new ones.

Murray agrees that there are people in the activist parts of the rainbow movement who will force churches to marry same-sex couples and deny Christian schools the right to hire staff who share their faith. …”

– Martyn Iles, the new Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby writes about the battle ahead, and shares his organisation’s submission (PDF) to the Expert Panel on Religious Freedom.

Dealing with Guilt and Shame

Posted on February 21, 2018 
Filed under Resources, Theology

“Western culture regards guilt and shame as overwhelmingly negative experiences. The catch-cry of our times is “believe in yourself”, and ridding ourselves of guilt and shame is part of the near universal pursuit of positive thinking. Yet, for many, guilt and shame are all-too crushingly real and inescapable. We feel their weight even as we try to banish them with positive spin.

In our first Centre for Christian Living event of the year, Faculty member Dr Dan Wu will explore what the Bible has to say about guilt and shame – what they are, and how they can be both negative and positive experiences for Christians. Most importantly, Dan will unpack how these experiences relate to the defining reality for all human life – the glory of God seen in the cross of Jesus. …”

– Read about Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living event coming up on Wednesday 7th March.

Go, Bear the Saviour’s Name…

Posted on February 20, 2018 
Filed under History

“In advance of my upcoming trip to Australia and New Zealand, I’ve been studying all I can find on the early history of Christianity in those two nations. Australia was settled by the British first, of course, and served as a kind of staging point for missionaries to reach New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Australian Christianity begins with Richard Johnson, the chaplain of the very first fleet to reach her shores. He had been hand-selected for the task by William Wilberforce and his associates, and immediately got to work preaching the gospel and carrying out the duties of a pastor. He did so with the blessings and prayers of many in his home country, including John Newton, (author of “Amazing Grace”), who wrote this little poem in his honour. …”

– Tim Challies (who will be in Sydney shortly) quotes John Newton’s words to Richard Johnson.

Image: John Newton, courtesy of Marylynn Rouse at The John Newton Project.

Related: ‘Go, bear the Saviour’s name to lands unknown’.

Next Page →