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Tveit: Rev. Graham had important role for many people

Tveit: Rev. Graham had important role for many people

Billy Graham visits the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, in June 1955.

26 February 2018

The death of Rev. Dr Billy Graham marks a milestone in the landscape of churches worldwide, as he was a highly respected church leader and preacher of the gospel in the USA and around the world, reflected Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Graham died on 21 February at age 99.

“He has played an important role for many people in their encounters with the gospel and with Christian faith,” said Tveit. “He was an evangelist at heart.”

While Tveit never met Graham personally, Tveit’s predecessor former WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, met Graham. So did former WCC general secretary Willem Visser ‘t Hooft, as Graham visited the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey in the mid-1950s.

Tveit continued: “The World Council of Churches and Billy Graham were not always in agreement on questions of how Christianity should contribute to work for peace and justice in the world, but he respected a clear position and worked sincerely on a wide range of issues.”

Evangelical Christians in particular have much to thank Graham for, Tveit said. “He gave Biblical depth and weight to the evangelical context – something that is dearly needed, not least in our time today – in the US and elsewhere.”

WCC member churches in the United States of America