A faithful servant

It is not going too far to conclude that the Rev. Billy Graham, who died Wednesday at age 99, was unrivaled in his field during our time. It happened that his chosen life’s work was winning converts to Christianity.

It mattered not to Graham, a Southern Baptist, whether people agreed with every tenet of his own faith. What mattered was getting them to make a connection with God, he believed.

He was a master at using every tool available, ranging from massive rallies to television, to do that. His appeal was enhanced by his refusal to capitalize on his fame. He accepted only a moderate salary from his movement.

And — how sad it is to have to remark on this — no hint of scandal of any kind ever touched Graham.

He made mistakes. He admitted them publicly, then asked the Lord’s forgiveness.

It has been estimated 210 million people heard him preach in person. He touched many others through the mass media. In the end, that may have been his greatest achievement — exposing the world to a good and faithful servant of God.