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"The Other Billy Graham"

Christ's call to the four Galilean fishermen, "Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men" (Mark 1:17) was not simply a suggestion. It was a command. It was a command to join Him in the task of calling people to their Savior.

Someone has aptly commented, "If you're not fishing, you may not be following! Or at best you are following at a distance." What about you? Are you obeying Christ's command in "fishing" for people?.

Billy Graham is a true follower. No, this Billy Graham is not the re-nowned evangelist. But he is an evangelist, and a significant one in his own right. This Billy Graham is Pastor of Evangelism at North Mobile Baptist Church, Mobile, Alabama.

He's also an enthusiastic advocate of Evangelism Explosion.

Graham was born with muscular dystrophy. He had a life expectancy of eight years. Moreover, he was born legally blind.

Obviously, the doctors were wrong about his life expectancy. But the muscular dystrophy confines him to a wheel chair, and his lack of sight has been a challenge. Despite his handicaps, Graham is unquestionably one of Christ's most faithful followers. How does he cope with his handicaps?

"My parents encouraged me to discover for myself what my limitations really are, not what others perceive them to be," Graham says.

Immediately upon his arrival at North Mobile Baptist, Graham asked the senior pastor to attend an EE Leadership Training Clinic at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. Another staff pastor and his wife had already been trained in EE. Graham was then ready to launch an in-church training program at North Mobile Baptist.

Graham asked all the applicants to commit to two years of training and ended up with seven three-person teams. This meant that he took EE teams out five nights every week to call on church visitors - no small task for a trainer confined to a wheel chair and legally blind.

Usually Graham's trainees pulled his wheel chair up the stairs to homes. But sometimes, the stairs were too narrow, he crawled up to the front door.

Semester two finished with seventeen teams, and the third semester, that has just started, began with twenty-six! Thus far the Gospel has been presented to 337 people, and 62 of them have made professions of faith. All eight pastors on staff are involved as trainers. Those who are trained in EE are now sharing the Gospel with friends, relatives, neighbors, and associates.

Graham would crawl up to the front door

The results have been most rewarding. Graham himself led a new church maintenance man to Christ.

He's just getting started at North Mobile Baptist Church. Now a certified clinic teacher, he plans a year from this summer to host the church's first Leadership Training Clinic.

Asked why he has such a passion for EE, Graham responds, "Because of what Christ has done for me, I want to glorify Him. The best way to do that is to obey His command. And the best way to fulfill his command is through EE." He adds, "EE has given me the freedom and ability to share the good news about Jesus with anyone in any situation."

Graham went on to share that his bride of fifteen-and-a-half years was called into the presence of the Lord on March 31, 1994. She was his eyes and legs. Since her death, he has persevered.

Graham has every excuse not to obey Jesus' command to be a fisher of men. But he's doing it.

Friend, how much "fishing" are you doing?

(* Testimony used by permission from Billy Graham and Evangelism Explosion.)

If you would like to contact Rev. Graham you may at the following numbers:

Rev. W. Billy Graham
First Baptist of North Mobile
1251 Industrial Parkway
Saraland, Alabama 36571
Church Phone: (251) 679-3266

Evangelism Explosion International (EE)
P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33307-3820
Phone: (954) 491-6100 ext. 327
Fax: (954) 771-2256
Website: www.eeinternational.org

Or you may contact us at:

Email: silentmissionary@yahoo.com

"For God so loved the world (YOU), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (YOU) believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 KJV

"Casting all your cares (problems and burdens) upon Him (Jesus); for He careth for YOU." 1 Peter 5:7 KJV

"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5b KJV

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to TRIUMPH in Christ..."

II Corinthians 1:14