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Billy Graham, Rock of Witness Dedication, Forest Home 1967

Billy Graham, Rock of Witness Dedication, Forest Home 1967

From the files of Dr. Henrietta Mears–called “Teacher” by many she has led to Christ and built in the faith–comes the following personal testimony of evangelist Billy Graham. In 1948, prior to a great crusade in Los Angeles, Dr. Mears invited a young virtually unknown minister to speak at Forest Home, the Christian conference grounds she was instrumental in founding. Here is his account of one of the most important weeks in his life. [Excerpt first published in Teach Magazine, Spring 1962, p44]

In 1967, Billy Graham returned to Forest Home as part of the dedication of the Rock of Witness commemorating this pivotal moment in his life and ministry.  He also spoke at the dedication of the Sermon on the Mount Chapel at Forest Home where he again spoke of the significance of this event and the influence of Henrietta Mears.  His message is at the bottom of this post.

Where Billy Graham Dueled His Doubts–And Won

People gathered around Mears Lake to participate in the dedication of the Sermon on the Mount Chapel at Forest Home

People gathered around Mears Lake to participate in the dedication of the Sermon on the Mount Chapel at Forest Home

I came early to Forest Home to plan for the coming week. Spiritual problems seemed to focus here and wrestling with the Spirit was inevitable. I was having my doubts concerning the Word of God. The authoritative note, so characteristic of great preachers of the past was lacking in my own ministry.

Billy Graham "Glory to God" Tree Dedication, Forest Home 1967

Billy Graham “Glory to God” Tree Dedication, Forest Home 1967

I prayed that the Spirit would have full sway in my heart. And as I walked down the paths, suddenly I came to grips with myself. I was caught in a spiritual cross-fire. I was having a duel with my doubts and there finally in desperation I went to my knees before God with my Bible and I began to pray:

“Dear Lord, there are thing that I cannot understand from They Word, but Thou has told me that the just shall live by faith. Everything I have received I have taken by faith. Here and now by faith I take the Word of God to be true. I take it all, I take it without reservation. And Lord, if it please Thee, give me great authority as I preach Thy Word.”

Billy Graham's Tree Today (2013)

Billy Graham’s Tree Today (2013)

Tag on Billy Graham's Tree

Tag on Billy Graham’s Tree

I have often said this experience at Forest Home transformed my entire ministry. I went to the Los Angeles Crusade and, instead of having fear, I found the burning fire of the Spirit within my soul. I stopped trying to prove that the Bible was true. I had settled it in my own mind by faith that it was. And this faith conveyed itself to the audience. Over and over again I found myself saying, “The Bible says.” It seemed as though i was not speaking, but I was only a voice through which the Holy Spirit was speaking.

Sermon on the Mount Chapel, Forest Home (2013)

Sermon on the Mount Chapel, Forest Home (2013)

A plaque in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in memory of Sir Christopher Wren reads: “If you would see his memorial, look about you.” So I would say of Dr. Mears and Forest Home. If you would see anything that we could erect as a memorial to her faithful years of service, look about you and see the lives that she has helped to lead into the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Billy Graham

Billy Graham’s Dedication of the Sermon on the Mount Chapel, Forest Home 1967

What do you think are the most important qualities of a Kidmin leader? How do you find those kind of leaders?

Henrietta Mears shares 5 timeless qualities of a Kidmin leader and why it is important to recruit busy people.

The 5 Most Important Qualities of a Kidmin Leader


First Presbyterian Church, HollywoodIn the 1950′s, Hollywood Presbyterian Church boasted a Sunday School of over 6000 people. Each Sunday, there were more people attending the Sunday School than the worship services. According to Dr. Henrietta Mears, Hollywood Presbyterian Church Christian Education Director, nearly 60% of the people attending the Sunday school were unchurched. Mears believed that the Sunday school was the most vital way for a church to reach unchurched people and influence the community.  Below is a recording of portions of an interview with Henrietta Mears from November of 1962.  She talks about how the Bible has the answer to the world’s problems, the importance of presenting Jesus to every boy and girl, man and woman.  She also talks about the role of the Sunday school in the church.

Evangelism and the Importance of the Sunday School

No Longer Silent

Damon Delillo —  October 11, 2013 — 3 Comments

Reel to ReelIf you have been following the Henrietta Mears blog over the last several months, you probably noticed a slow down in posts lately. About 2 months ago I stumbled upon a box of old audio reels that contained over 70 audio recordings of Henrietta Mears.  So, for the last several weeks I have been converting the reels to mp3, instead of blogging  :(.  In the coming months, I will be releasing portions of messages Henrietta Mears gave in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s on topics ranging from evangelism, teaching, qualities of a leader, Sunday School, college/career ministry, personal evangelism, recruiting volunteers, training etc. . .

Much of what you will be hearing hasn’t ever been released before. Stay tuned!