February 19, 2012 - Every U.S. President since World War II has met with Billy Graham. Both Johnson and Nixon, the two who probably sought him the most, offered him high positions in government — which he quickly and politely refused.
Billy Graham has often said, "Whether the story of Christ is told in a huge stadium, across the desk of a powerful leader, or shared with a golfing companion, it satisfies a common hunger. All over the world, whenever I meet people face-to-face, I am made aware of this personal need among the famous and successful, as well as the lonely and obscure."
Every U.S. President since World War II through Barack Obama has met with Billy Graham. Here are short snippets of their stories:
Harry S. Truman — In 1950 a congressman called Billy and asked, "Would you like to meet the President?" Without any briefing on protocol, he agreed and went in with three colleagues and spoke with President Truman, who told Billy he lived by the Sermon on the Mount. Before he left, the two prayed together. Years later, Truman warmly received Billy at his home in Independence, Missouri.
"Billy Graham is one of the best ambassadors our country has but he told me, 'I am an ambassador of heaven.'" — Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lyndon B. Johnson — There was a religious side to Lyndon Johnson that people did not know. Billy was probably closer to Johnson than to any other President. He was invited to the family ranch several times and spent more than 20 nights at the White House during Johnson's administration. Every time Billy would say to him, "Let's have a prayer," the President would get on his knees to pray.
"My mind went back to those lonely occasions at the White House when your friendship helped to sustain a President in an hour of trial." — Lyndon Johnson in a letter to Billy Graham
Gerald R. Ford — Answering critics of his relationship with Billy, Gerald Ford said, "I've heard the comments from some sources that Billy mixes politics with religion. I never felt that and I don't think that thousands and thousands of people who listen to him felt that. Billy dropped by the Oval Office on several occasions while I was President. They were get-togethers of old friends. They had no political or other significance."
Jimmy Carter — "Billy and Ruth Graham have been to visit us both in the governor's mansion in Georgia and in the White House," said Jimmy Carter. "His reputation is above reproach or suspicion." Back in 1966, Carter chaired a BGEA film crusade in Americus, Ga., and when he was governor, served as an honorary chairman of the Atlanta Crusade.
"It was through Billy Graham that I found myself praying even more than on a daily basis ... and that in the position I held, that my prayers more and more were to give me the wisdom to make decisions that would serve God and be pleasing to Him." — Ronald Reagan
"Billy and Ruth Graham have practiced the ministry of ... being friends with Presidents of both parties ... always completely private, always completely genuine." — William J. Clinton
Many of these stories were adapted from Billy Graham: God's Ambassador. Order a copy of this book from our online bookstore now!
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