Rev. Billy Graham’s deep Canadian connections
A Canadian crisis of faith had an enormous effect on the career and life of Rev. Billy Graham, the world’s most famous preacher. At the close of the Second World War, Billy Graham was preaching in multiple cities with his close friend and dynamic preacher, Toronto’s Rev. Charles Templeton. The pair’s Youth For Christ rallies drew crowds of teenagers to dance halls to hear great music and convincing words about Jesus.Just as I Am, Rev. Graham’s autobiography, records that from 1946 to 1949, Rev. Templeton challenged Billy that the pair may have gotten their convictions all wrong. Rev. Templeton went on to leave Christian life; Rev. Graham did not. He confirmed his own belief in the Bible and the salvation of Jesus, and later told his team, “I simply stepped onto the stage Chuck [Rev. Templeton] left ….”
Rev. Graham took two talented Canadians from that early work with Rev. Templeton: pianist Tedd Smith of London, Ont., and baritone George Beverly Shea of North Dundas, Ont., and for decades the pair performed before every sermon Rev. Graham preached. Today, however, Rev. Graham would want you to be thinking about only one name: Jesus.
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