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Public Lecture

Billy Graham and the Making of an Evangelical Titan

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 7:30PM - 9:00 PM

Religious historians largely agree that Billy Graham exerted unique influence in shaping the post-World War II global evangelical movement. The question is how did a seemingly ordinary farm kid from the American South rise to that Olympian level? Some say it was the Lord’s hand, or his fit with needs of the age, or his intrinsic gifts such as homiletic skills, organizational ability, or even old-fashioned good looks. While all of these—and other explanations—hold much truth, in this talk I will assess how two “internal” traits—private humility and public ambition—interacted to create a man and a ministry of singular importance for understanding Christian leadership in the modern world.

Grant Wacker is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor emeritus of Christian History at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC (USA). A lay Methodist, and former president of the American Society of Church History, Wacker is the author of Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture and of America's Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation.

This lecture is part of our 2019 Summer Evening Public Lecture Series.

Dr. Wacker will be teaching the class "Character & Charisma: Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr. & Aimee Semple McPherson" from May 20–24, 2019 as part of our 2019 Summer Programs. Learn more at

Regent College Chapel

Paid parking available at Regent College and UBC

Speaking at this Event


Grant Wacker

Gilbert T. Rowe Professor emeritus of Christian History (Duke Divinity School)

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