February 21 2018

James A. Smith Sr.





NRB Mourns Passing of Billy Graham

Billy Graham Speaking
Billy Graham speaks at the NRB Convention, 1988

WASHINGTON (NRB) –  World-renowned evangelist Billy Graham went to be with the Lord today at the age of 99.

"The world has lost a great man, but those in Heaven are surely rejoicing in the homecoming of this good and faithful servant," said NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson. "Only God knows how many are there with him because of his ministry and how many more there will be. It seems trite to say he was a giant among men, but no one could doubt the truth of this statement."

Johnson continued, "For more than eight decades, Billy Graham faithfully obeyed Christ's command to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, as our Lord commanded."

Billy Graham Jerry Johnson
Billy Graham (left) shakes hands with Jerry A. Johnson (right)

The internationally renowned evangelist preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history – nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories, according to Graham’s ministry, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) – through various evangelistic crusades and meetings, including Mission World and Global Mission. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts.

"Billy Graham loved the Lord with all of his heart and demonstrated this through his ministry," said Johnson. "He was a trailblazer in the use of radio, television, film, and other communications platforms to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. NRB is proud of its long partnership with the BGEA, which is today a vital part of our association. Billy Graham was and will remain a shining example for us all."

Billy Graham Speaking at 1977 NRB Convention
Billy Graham speaks at the NRB Convention, 1977

In 1981, Graham was inducted into NRB's Hall of Fame, an honor presented to an individual NRB member for invaluable contribution to the field of Christian communications, exhibition of the highest standards, and evidence of faithfulness in Christ. 

Billy Graham appears on the cover of the June 1995 issue of Religious Broadcasting, a magazine of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).

Graham also was honored with the association's Milestone Award in 2001 and the Chairman's Award in 1989. Moreover, BGEA, a long-time NRB member, has been recognized with a number of NRB awards, including two Awards of Merit and awards for the Best TV Commercial, Best TV Public Service Announcement, Best TV Special Programming, Best TV Mixed Media Campaign, and Best Use of Short Form Video.

Today, NRB annually recognizes one Christian organization with the Billy Graham Award for Excellence in Christian Communications, which is presented for effective and creative use of multiple electronic media technologies in fulfillment of the organization's mission, while maintaining fidelity to the message of love, redemption, and hope found in the Holy Scriptures.

"As we note through this award, Graham exemplified a commitment to excellence, creativity, and biblical fidelity in his use of electronic communications in furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," shared Johnson. "We here at NRB are deeply grateful for the influence he has had on our association of Christian communicators, which he will continue to have through his ministry. What a mighty work the Lord has done through him!

About NRB

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at

About the NRB Convention

The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention, Proclaim 18, will be the 75th annual Convention and will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, February 27-March 2, 2018. For more information, go to




National Religious Broadcasters
1 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 333
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 543-0073