“I sensed the presence and power of God as I had not sensed it in months. Not all my questions were answered, but … I knew a spiritual battle in my soul had been fought and won.” – Billy Graham, Forest Home.
The week of Billy Graham’s passing, we shared a version of the following story on our social media pages:
Billy Graham, who had just begun his evangelistic ministry, was asked to speak at Forest Home, it would become one of the defining moments of his faith. It was here that Billy Graham, wrestling with his understanding of God’s word, went for a walk through the Forest Home property laid down his Bible on a stump, and received confirmation that the Bible is truly the authoritative Word of God. Reflecting on this moment in his autobiography, Just As I Am, Graham wrote, “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word-by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word.”
Billy Graham left Forest Home and just few weeks later preached at the Los Angeles Crusades — which ran a total of eight weeks instead of the original scheduled three. Over 300,000 people heard the Gospel and this moment would spark the evangelistic crusades that defined the rest of his career.
As Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham and Vice President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association wrote, “Because of that moment kneeling by a stump at Forest Home, I get to hear stories of lives changed through my grandfather’s ministry. Because of that moment, my father and I are invited around the world to share the same hope of Christ that my grandfather preached in Los Angeles and hundreds of other locations both near and far. That moment not only changed Billy Graham’s ministry. It impacted eternity.”
Many of you commented on our post with your own defining moment at Forest Home, where you met Christ in an authentic and tangible way. It’s a reminder that even with changes in time and culture, we want to remain an organization that creates a unique space where campers and guests of all ages can hear the Gospel and be transformed by the work of Christ in his/her life.
A recent Barna Group survey showed that 13 percent of pastors receive their calling at camp. As we plan our programs for summer, we are mindful that this is a place where people have been drawn to the Lord and received His calling for his/her lives.
Thank you, for letting us be a small moment in your journey with the Lord.
We will continue to strive to be a place where the voice of God rings out through the canyon.
To read more about Billy Graham and Forest Home click here.