Editorial: Carson-Newman right to honor Billy Graham with special award

Mar. 29, 2013 @ 11:39 PM

It’s hard to imagine there is an award, trophy or recognition that Billy Graham hasn’t been given. The man has been an evangelist and minster for most of his 93 years, and earned a deserved reputation for fairness, honesty, and adherence to the principles and teachings of the Bible.

After all, the Rev. Graham has been spiritual adviser to U.S. presidents from Eisenhower to Obama. Carson-Newman University felt one title was missing. They were right. Now the Rev. Graham can showcase on his mantle an award naming him Evangelist of the 20th Century. It was presented to Graham at his home in Montreat, N.C., by Carson-Newman President Randall O’Brien.

“It is especially meaningful to receive this from a school well known for shaping hearts and minds of next generation students for Jesus Christ. I also commend this church-related institution for recently receiving the status of ‘university’ – well-fitting Carson-Newman’s mission ‘Higher Education for a Higher Purpose,’” Graham said in accepting the award.

“We feel we are the privileged ones to be able to present Dr. Graham with this award,” said O’Brien. “At Carson-Newman we believe in the power of the Gospel in transforming lives to better serve God and neighbor. I can think of no one in modern history who has helped transform more lives for the Kingdom of God than Billy Graham.”

Nobody else deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with Graham among the great evangelists of the last century. He has been named to Gallup’s “Top 10 Most Admired Men in the World” 56 times since 1948. He has preached the Gospel to more live audiences than anyone in history – some 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. He is the author of 31 books.

Yes, indeed, Billy Graham was the Evangelist of the 20th Century. How nice it is that the revered minister is still around to receive it.