The Upper Reaches

The Remarkable 50-Year White House Ministry of Billy Graham

by Mark Tooley

Barack Obama may be the first American president since Franklin Roosevelt whom evangelist Billy Graham never meets or counsels. America’s most famous preacher turned 90 last November 7, and although Obama tried to visit him during the campaign, the evangelist’s health precluded it. But in a meeting with Obama earlier last year, son Franklin, who has succeeded to his father’s ministry, made known the Grahams’ disagreement with Obama over abortion and same-sex unions.

Still mentally alert though frail, Billy Graham is perhaps the most influential clergyman in US history. He has been a celebrity since 1949, when his surging . . .

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Mark Tooley directs the United Methodist committee of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.ird-renew.org) in Washington, D.C.

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