Christianity Today) he helped found and grow. Billy Graham has filled (and continues to fill) many roles.
Yet many people await the next super-Christian to lead us. And, as usual, God has resisted giving us a simple succession plan. Still, there are those expecting the Graham anointing to be passed, with a special burden placed on his eldest son, Franklin. One person wrote when Franklin was born: "Welcome to this sin-sick world and the challenge you have to walk in your daddy's footsteps."
Two Graham offspring—William Franklin Graham III ("Franklin") and Anne Morrow Graham Lotz—are assuming public preaching roles, and we highlight them here. Their siblings, Virginia Leftwich Graham Tchividjian ("Gigi") and Ruth Bell Graham McIntyre ("Bunny"), are gifted writers and speakers and have been active in ministries of their own; Nelson Edman Graham ("Ned") serves as president of East Gates Ministries International.
There were moments in their childhoods when, no doubt, all insisted that they would never assume the roles and expectations that others laid upon them. And some—even they—might challenge the notion that, in their respective roles, they possess their father's anointing. Yet, in the providence of God, the baby-boomer Graham preachers are a force for the gospel that bears a resemblance to the multidimensional ministry of their father.
But family resemblance is one thing, and listening to the Holy Spirit and discerning where and how we should lift up Jesus Christ in this generation is another. So let us be thankful for the good work of the Graham progeny and then, as they would be the first to say, keep our eyes focused on heaven.
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