22 Feb Billy Graham Crusade Songs
By now you’ve probably seen and read at least ten to twenty tributes or quotes by Evangelist Billy Graham since his passing yesterday, so I won’t even attempt to write a grand memorial to him. Though I would have loved to, I never had the honor to meet him or even be in the same venue as he was. I know one thing though, one day I will!
His life, legacy, and influence on the entire world is difficult to even comprehend. One of those legacies is of course his evangelistic crusades. I am an old soul and love to explore and learn about anything that was made before my lifetime. (I think my favorite decade is the 50s–I would love to have been alive then!) A few years ago while serving as Youth Pastor at Uwharrie Community Church in Albemarle, North Carolina, I came across a box of old song books while cleaning out a closet. In that box were not only previous church hymnals, but song books and some other printed material from Billy Graham’s Crusades. I was able to keep this copy of “Billy Graham Crusade Songs” from the Ovens Auditorium and Charlotte Coliseum. The copyright is 1957, and of course the song list was complied by Cliff Barrows. This was already on display on my living room bookshelf, but now I really feel like I have a treasure!
From the inside front cover: “We have seen the hand of God at work in a marvelous way during the past months. Each member of our Team deeply appreciates the faithful prayer support of the many “Hour of Decision” listeners…We have been looking forward with eager anticipation to joining you in a Crusade in this city. Thank you…and may the Lord bless you real good!” Billy Graham, Psalm 16:11
As I glanced over the index, several songs jumped out at me and I instantly began humming the melody line to each. Songs like, He Leadeth Me, My Savior’s Love, Love Lifted Me, My Hope Is Built, Nothing But The Blood, What A Friend, At Calvary, The Old Rugged Cross, Tis So Sweet, and Just As I Am. But through the joy of knowing that Dr. Graham is sitting down with and having a conversation with people like Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Nehemiah, Peter, John and Jesus right now, I still had to wipe away a tear when I hummed these three: Rescue The Perishing, Jesus Saves, and I Love To Tell The Story.
Having a love for Gospel music and the hymns of the faith, I can’t think of any other three songs that better describe my brother in Christ, Preacher Billy Graham. He no doubt was welcomed with open arms while hearing the highest compliment, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done.” And even though I have no solid theology to back this up, I like to think that the millions of people that are in heaven ahead of and because of him gave a standing ovation for the preacher…the very man who told them about the Great Rescuer when they were perishing…told them that no matter what they had done or been that Jesus loved them and would save them…and told whomever would listen the Story that he loved to tell again and again.
“God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” –Billy Graham
May we have a greater desire today than we did yesterday to give to those who need to hear about the wonderful love of God.