George Wilson was there when Billy Graham needed him. Because of him, Minneapolis became the world headquarters of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) One of America's largest charitable organizations. Wilson, 85, who died on August 24, was executive vice president of BGEA from its founding in 1950 until his retirement in 1987.
At a memorial service August 29 at First Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Graham described Wilson as one of his closest advisers. "I owe him a debt I can never repay," he said. "All of us are going to miss him terribly. Human terms cannot measure the remarkable contribution George has made to my ministry. I am praying that God's grace and strength will be more than sufficient for his wife, Helen, and his three daughters."
Harvey Mackay, a Minneapolis businessman and close friend, said Wilson was a visionary who liked to say of Christianity: "Our job is to dispense the world's greatest product with the greatest economy to the greatest number of people as fast as possible." Graham and Wilson became acquainted at a 1945 Youth for Christ conference in Chicago. The two played key roles in the founding of the Evangelical Council for Financial Account-ability with Wilson serving as its first board chairman.1