Graham's Grandson to Lead FL Mega-Church

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Rev. Billy Graham's grandson may soon be the leader of the Florida mega-church once led by well-known televangelist Rev. D. James Kennedy.

Ministry leaders at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church say they are considering William Graham Tullian Tchividjian as their next pastor. Tchividjian currently pastors New City Church, but has visited Coral Ridge as a guest speaker several times.

"This will be an exciting legacy for both Dr. Kennedy and Billy Graham," Dan Westphal, head of the Pulpit Nominating Committee, said. "I've come to know Tullian well, and he is a godly man."

If approved, Tchividjian will be the church's second pastor in fifty years. Kennedy, the ministry's founder, died two years ago.

A Moving Testimony

Tchividjian is one of seven children of Gigi Tchividjian, Billy and Ruth Graham's oldest daughter. Though his parents were Christians, Tchividjian didn't always follow their ways. He has often been called Graham's "prodigal grandson."

"I stole, I was a thief," Tchividjian once told the 700 Club.

By age 16, he had caused his family so much grief that his dad told him to leave their home. He dropped out of high school and became addicted to drugs and alcohol.

"I felt no remorse. I felt no regret," Tchividjian remembered. "In fact I was actually happy and pleased with my achievements. I was free to live every young guy's dream."

He began to turn his life around after meeting his wife Kim. At the time, she said she saw something "different" in his family, and knew "it was because God was the center of their home."

Tchividjian also teaches at Reformed Theological Seminary and hosts a show for Coral Ridge's radio station. He has written two Christian lifestyle books, "Unfashionable" and "Do I Know God?"

Final Decision Still Pending

A committee at Coral Ridge as been working for a year to decide on the right leader to replace Kennedy.

The church is also considering a merger with New City, Westphal said. A final decision will be made in about a month, after talks between church leaders and a vote by the congregations.

Source: CBN News, Sun-Sentinel

*Originally posted January 19, 2009.

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