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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Billy Graham wins public service award

 
 

The Rev. Billy Graham said he was initially reluctant to accept the George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service because he thought the award should go to someone active in government or philanthropy.
“My calling has been to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Graham said. “To help people look beyond this world and (to) the problems to come.”
Former President George H. W. Bush presented Graham with the award Monday evening to a nearly filled Rudder Auditorium. Graham, an evangelist for over 50 years, was raised on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has preached in 185 countries.
Houston Texans quarterback David Carr said Graham inspired his grandfather, a preacher. Graham’s uncompromising message made his grandfather proud, Carr said.
“He doesn’t have a Nike contract,” he said. “He doesn’t have Super Bowl rings, but he’s my most important man … because of what he’s doing for the kingdom of God.”
CEO of America Online, Inc. Steve Case, who met Graham at a California technology conference 10 years ago, said he has learned about death, humility and love from Graham. Death, because Graham does not fear it, but looks forward to heaven; humility, because Graham is “a man who sees himself simply as a humble servant of the Lord;” and love, because of the example Graham and his wife Ruth live.
Singer and Songwriter Michael W. Smith played a tribute – comprised of Graham’s favorite hymns – on the piano. He began with “Just as I Am” and concluded with a special rendition of “Amazing Grace,” a song he said reminds him of Graham.
Graham appeared to be strong considering he said he has been sick with bronchitis for the last 10 days. He used a walker when standing, except when he held the podium as he was speaking.
Graham said, following the whooping and applause, “I think today I’m the 12th man,” which prompted laughter in the audience. He spent a large part of his remarks focusing on former President Bush and his service to the nation.
“I can think of no one who exemplifies these ideals better than you sir,” Graham said to Bush.
He also talked about former First Lady Barbara Bush and her loyalty to her family as well as her leadership.
“I’ve never seen a woman like she is,” he said. “Fully in charge, but her husband thinks he’s in charge.”

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