Billy Graham… Incognito


Pastor Billy Graham would sometimes tell the story of a time he travelled to a city in Canada for one of his famous public evangelism campaigns. He arrived a day early and went along to a church service where he sat incognito.

For decades he was one of the most famous Christian communicators, but on his impromptu visit to a Canadian church Pastor Graham was wearing a hat and dark glasses, and no-one recognised him as he sat at the back of the congregation.

As Billy sat alone, he noticed an older gentleman sitting in front of him who was listening intently to the preacher’s words. At the end of the presentation the preacher invited people to come forward to the alter as a symbol of public commitment to Jesus Christ.

In an act of personal evangelism the famous preacher leaned forward and touched the shoulder of the older man sitting in front of him. Billy asked the gentleman:  “Would you like to accept Christ? I’ll be glad to walk down the front with you if you’d like.”

Pastor Graham says the elderly gentleman looked at him, thought for a moment, and then responded: “No, I think I’ll just wait for the big gun Billy Graham to come tomorrow night.”

While the story is funny in a small way, it does underline a bigger issue – the problem of Christians thinking the job of evangelism is for the “Big Guns”; famous preachers in large auditoriums. But for thousands of years the kingdom of God has expanded one soul at a time. The Gospel has mainly spread through one person’s willingness to extend themselves to someone else.

Rather than “evangelism” being the job of the Big Shots in large auditoriums and stadiums, the spreading of the Gospel is often the result of the small sacrifices of humble followers of the Saviour.

How is God wanting to use you as an agent of his grace today?


About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read what the Duke of Wellington can teach us about taking Communion.David speaking 2

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