This article originally appeared in the April 5, 1985 issue of Christianity Today.
The log house belonging to evangelist Billy Graham sits at the end of a long road slithering up to the crest of Black Mountain. It is a sturdy and warmly appointed place surrounded by thick stands of hardwood and jackpine and blooming mountain laurel. One can hardly imagine, peering through the ethereal haze draping the hills of this North Carolina hamlet, a more idyllic and soulful setting for a retirement home.
But for Graham, who now is 66 years old, his all-too-infrequent visits to the family homestead in Montreat provide him only the barest respite from his relentless public and private journeys. As long as he is persuaded the hand of God is upon him, the evangelist says he is dutybound to continue his ministry of preaching throughout the world, adding to the flock of 100 million people who have poured in to his crusades.
It has been for him an astonishing and supernatural run as the twentieth century's most recognized and decorated preacher, confidant to presidents and royalty, and counselor to millions of common folk. But Graham says he will be content with a simple epitaph for his life and ministry: "A sinner saved by grace; a man who, like the psalmist, walked in his integrity. I'd like people to remember that I had integrity."
Still, there is much to do. It is, the evangelist says, "God's hour for the world," a time of unprecedented danger and new opportunities, of thunderous approaching hoofbeats and wondrous breakthroughs for the cause of Christianity.
He worries that the world stands at the brink of nuclear holocaust. He laments a resurgence of racism and the uneasy peace in South Africa. He wonders about the morality of the distribution ...