This weekend, while attending a writer’s retreat for a ministry project in Asheville, NC, we were invited to spend a couple of hours with David Bruce, the man who for many, many years has been Billy Graham’s assistant. As if meeting and visiting with Mr. Bruce wasn’t enough, we had the privilege of having it in Billy Graham’s office.
Sitting in that simple and quaint room, surrounded by pictures of Reverend Graham with every President since the 50s, while listening to Mr. Bruce share, was like getting to visit the history of evangelical Christianity over the past 60+ years. Such a surreal moment I was more than humbled to be a part of.
Here’s one story I want to share with you. I have heard bits and pieces over the years about this, but hearing it first-hand was confirming.
Early on in the ministry, Reverend Graham and the rest of the ministers on their team sat in a very serious closed-door meeting to enact something they saw they must do to retain their purity and people’s trust—create personal accountability.
Among the decisions made that day were:
No meeting with a woman alone and when women were present, doors would never be closed.
TVs in a hotel room would not be turned on when alone. One of the team would even cover his TV with a towel and tape a picture of his wife where the screen was.
Someone would go into every hotel room prior to Rev. Graham to be certain a woman had not been planted or a ploy had not been set up in the room to take fraudulent pictures.
They made decisions about handling money with integrity and personal purity as if their lives and ministries depended on it, because they realized quickly—it did.
No one would question the incredible anointing on Reverend Graham and his team all these decades. How much did those early decisions invite God into their midst like few men ever do? There was certainly a correlation with how serious he was in his personal walk to how powerfully God moved when he preached.
Thank God Reverend Graham and those godly men around him decided to not follow permissiveness, culture, or what everyone else did, but only what they knew God was calling them to do and the level to which He was calling them. The Kingdom of God was certainly advanced mightily on a global level.
May we all be compelled, challenged, and motivated to follow Reverend Graham and his team in enacting accountability and establishing personal purity, by, for, and through the grace and mercy of Christ.
And if one person is vulnerable to attack, two can drive the attacker away. As the saying goes, “A rope made of three strands is not quickly broken.” —Ecclesiastes 4:12 (Voice)