It's hard to fathom the fact that Billy Graham, the famed Christian evangelist who has preached to millions, reached his 93rd birthday on Monday.
To many of us, he seems perhaps a bit like the Old Testament prophets, whose positive influence has lived throughout the ages. But he also has had a direct impact on our local community. Billy Graham's birthday reminded us that he has visited and preached in Tennessee on a number of occasions -- including a massive crusade at Chattanooga's Engel Stadium in 1953.
The trappings of fame and success were not his concern. He preached a message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to many thousands of Chattanoogans -- just as he preached that message to countless others in venues all around the world.
Physical limitations have required Graham to pull back in recent years, though his son, Franklin Graham, has a marvelous ministry known as Samaritan's Purse.
Billy Graham surely has been the most effective evangelist of modern times -- and he continues to "serve the Lord with gladness" at age 93.