Belmont Student Reflects On Billy Graham's Final Nashville Crusade

Posted at 7:17 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 20:17:32-05

When Mary Allyson McGinnis was just four years old, she made a decision she would carry for the rest of her life. She chose Christ, but only after hearing Billy Graham speak during his final Nashville crusade.

"I really felt like God spoke to me," McGinnis said. "I remember telling my mom and dad I wanted Jesus in my heart and that's all I knew."

McGinnis is the daughter of a Chattanooga preacher. She remembers attended services every week and participating in Sunday school.

But she said credits her faith to Graham.

"He was a catalyst of Christianity," McGinnis said. "He showed everybody the love of Jesus. He made that his mission to share that message of love."

On Tuesday, McGinnis' mother texted her a picture of a letter she found that night while cleaning out a closet. It was a letter Graham sent to the children who attended his crusade and has chosen to accept Jesus as their Savior.

Hours after the letter was found, Graham died.

"I think it was a God thing," McGinnis said. "It was divine intervention that this happened during this time." 

Graham is known as a  confidante to presidents, acquaintance of popes, and friend to celebrities. But McGinnis said his legacy lies in the millions of everyday people he touched.

"Remembering that childlike faith I had when I was four years old reminds me as an adult to have faith like a child," she said.