William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr. (born November 7, 1918) is an American evangelical Christian evangelist. As of April 25, 2010, when he met with Barack Obama, Graham has spent personal time with twelve United States Presidents dating back to Harry S. Truman, and is number seven on Gallup’s list of admired people for the 20th century. He is a Southern Baptist. He rose to celebrity status as his sermons were broadcast on radio and television.
Graham has preached the Gospel in person to more people than any other person in history. According to his staff, more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, many to the altar call song “Just As I Am“. As of 2008, Graham’s lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion. [Wikipedia]
Though few would dispute Graham’s fundamentalist roots, especially if they have experienced his preaching, Wikipedia, however, does note that Graham “…parted company with that movement because of his choice, early in his ministry (1950s), to cooperate with other Christians. Graham represents a movement that arose within fundamentalism, but has increasingly become distinct from it, known as neo-evangelicalism or New Evangelicalism (a term coined by Harold J. Ockenga, the “Father of New Evangelicalism”). [Wikipedia] Roger Olson points out that biblical separationism had become a feature of “second phase Fundamentalism along with “strict inerrancy of the Bible, antiliberal activism and strong affirmation of Protestant orthodoxy” (567).
Dr. Graham addresses “Happiness” in this sermon: