Graham's Influence Goes Beyond Crusades

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He's known as "America's Pastor" and he's preached the Gospel in almost every nation on earth.

Most people know Billy Graham as a world-famous evangelist, but what you may not know is how his work changed the course of history.

Former Time Magazine Senior Correspondent and prolific author David Aikman joined The 700 Club to share more about a book he wrote called Billy Graham: His Life and Influence. Click play to watch Aikman's interview.

Here's a look at the impact he made, from behind the Iron Curtain to the frontlines of the civil rights movement.

The son of dairy farmers, Billy Graham had humble beginnings.

But when he was 16, he says God grabbed hold of him and he gave his life to Christ.

In August of 1943, Billy married a beautiful, young Wheaton student named Ruth Bell.

Soon after, Billy's prolific ministry was launched world wide and life would never be the same.

The Los Angeles crusade in 1949 brought international recognition.

Originally scheduled for three weeks, the meetings were extended to more than eight weeks.

In his years of ministry, Graham has preached in person to more than 210 million people in 185 countries and territories.

In that time, he has never seemed to be afraid to confront the evils of society.

He integrated his crusades in the south and joined the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. to battle racism.

"Don't ever say it's a white man's religion or black man's religion," Graham said. "It's a world religion. He belongs to the world."

Graham also took on apartheid, refusing to hold a crusade in South Africa until the meetings were integrated.

He has also moved in powerful political circles, ministering to 11 U.S. presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush.

And since 1955, Billy Graham has been listed a record 50 times by the Gallup organization -- as one of the "Ten most admired men in the world."

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