Chinese Church VoicesEvangelism

Remembering Billy Graham in China

Chinese Church Voices is a weekly column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.


Evangelist Billy Graham died last week at the age of 99. He was known to have preached the gospel to millions of people in person and millions more via television, satellite, and films. While some called him “America’s pastor,” his influence extended far beyond the United States, including to China. Graham made two trips to China. During the first trip he and his wife, Ruth, visited her birthplace—the place where her father L. Nelson Bell served as a medical missionary from 1916 to 1941.

China Christian Daily wrote of those special ties Billy Graham and his family had to China, including pictures from his visit to China in 1988.  

Billy Graham's Special Ties to China

Evangelist Billy Graham, born in November 1918, died on February 21, 2018, aged 99. He founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) in 1950 and preached to 215 million people from 180 countries.

Billy Graham had been in China several times. Besides, his wife Ruth Bell Graham was born in Huaian, Jiangsu Province, China, and spent her first 17 years there. His father-in-law Lemuel Nelson Bell was a missionary in China. His Chinese name "Aihua" meant "loving China."

Graham visited China the first time in 1988 and again in 1994, saying that he would "pray for China's future and to bless the Chinese." He also held crusades in Hong Kong in 1975 and 1990. His son Franklin Graham and grandsons Will and Roy Graham have been to China, too.



Billy Graham was received by Bishop Ding Guangxun (Bishop K.H.Ting), president and chairman emeritus of CCC & TSPM, in 1988.
Provided by Huai'an Church


In 1988, Ruth Bell Graham met her childhood friend in Huai'an where she was born to the Bells.
Provided by Huai'an Church


Billy and Ruth Graham visited Ruth's birthplace in Huaiyin, 1988.
Provided by Huai'an Church


The Grahams met Zhu Rongji, China's vice premier at that time, in Beijing,1988.
Provided by Huai'an Church 

To view more of the pictures, go to "Billy Graham's Special Ties to China."

Original article: Billy Graham's Special Ties to China (China Christian Daily)
Edited and reposted with permission.

Header image credit: Paul Walsh via Flickr (edited).
Text image credits: China Christian Daily.

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