Billy Graham's Grandchildren Describe Origin of Book

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 10:20 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The granddaughter of evangelist Rev. Billy Graham said their family heard from so many ordinary people whose lives were touched by his ministry that she and her brothers decided to compile their stories in a book.

Jerushah Armfield, Aram Tchividjian, and Boz Tchividjian, whose mother is Graham's daugher Gigi Graham Tchividjian, assembled stories of people who watched their grandfather on TV, attended a crusade, or read his books. "Thank You, Billy Graham: A Tribute to the Life and Ministry of Billy Graham" presents the messages of the ordinary people he influenced.

The grandchildren, who affectionately call their 95-year-old grandfather "Daddy Bill," said it was the simple message of God's love that resonated with millions of people through the six decades of his ministry around the world.

"What I always remember, the crusades that I attended, was he said, 'If you remember one thing when you leave here, it's that God loves you.' And, that was his central message really," Aram Tchividjian told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday.

Graham's style of reaching "across the aisles, regardless of political affiliation, gender, race" was what made him stand out in an era of polarization, grandson Boz Tchividjian said on "Morning Joe." He said those experiences served as a "tremendous example to us as grandchildren."

Boz said the book gives voice to the "stories of the masses."

Graham's ministry continues through Armfield, a minister's wife and minister herself. She explained her grandfather's message influences her church in South Carolina.

"I think very dear to my heart is just the same message as our grandfather's that you read in this book," Armfield told "Morning Joe." "It is not my place to give you rules. It's just my place to tell you that Jesus loves you."

Though Graham ministered to presidents, world leaders, and celebrities, Boz said Graham always emphasized the importance of the individual. He said his grandfather's view was that a person's "position wasn't important — it was their person."

"Whether he was talking to a president or whether he was talking to somebody, you know, who takes care of the house, it doesn't make a difference. All have value in Daddy Bill's eyes. And, I think that's the gospel message as well," Boz said.

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