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Before Billy Graham was Billy Graham  

On November 21, 1948, a tall preacher with a North Carolina drawl stood in the pulpit at the Van Orin Gospel church. It’s a small chapel in a small town surrounded by other small Illinois towns like Green Oak, Kasbeer, and Zearing.

The preacher could never have known that just one year later, he would speak to 350,000 people in his Los Angeles crusade. If you visit the Van Orin Gospel church, as we did this week, you’ll see the plaque and pulpit that recall Billy Graham’s appearance. But they bring a question to mind.

Before Billy Graham was Billy Graham—world-famous evangelist—what was he like? Answer: humble enough to speak at a small church in a small town.

I think that's why God could and did use him. Though a fine preacher, I'm sure we've heard better. Though a compelling evangelist, God could have selected someone else. Yet God chose Dr. Graham over thousands of others. Of course, nothing in the Bible says that if we serve in small spaces, that leads to large places.

Faithfulness is the goal, not famousness.

Faithfulness, not bigness, is what God values.

Exactly 75 years ago this week, Billy Graham stood in that rural church in that unknown town and preached the gospel. Today, there are still small towns and small churches and small spaces looking for someone small enough to serve.

Are you small enough?

Humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 15:33



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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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