June 25, 2005 – Posted at 8:51 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR --The Reverend Billy Graham has embarked on his final United States crusade.
The 86-year-old is hobbled by age and illness, but is still carrying a strong message, one that hits home in Region 8.
“It's profoundly simple, but simply profound and it has changed the lives of literally millions of people,” said preacher Steve Jacobson.
“You realize just how influential he is just by the number of people that come to hear him,” said Ken Gore of Williams Baptist College.
The man known as 'America's Pastor' is taking the stage for what could be the final time in the United States.
“His gospel message is a simple one, but it is true to force and has never changed,” said Gore, “And for people to stay that bit of consistency in their evangelistic message is just not found these days.”
Local religious leaders agree.
“Billy Graham is a man of whom has never been any hint of scandal. In a day and an age where you've got televangelist bragging about their watches and cars, Billy Graham leads a very simple life compared to the multi million dollar organization which has grown around his ministry,” said Jacobson.
As ministry has evolved from big tent revivals to crusades led via satellite, Graham has endured over the test of time.
Jacobson said, “I think if I had to use one word to describe Billy Graham, it would be integrity. I think that's what separates him from so many people today.”
“He is a man of his word and a man of honor,” said Gore, “Everything I’ve seen has been of the highest Christian moral standards.”