Billy Graham remembered for St. Louis visits

ST. LOUIS – The Reverend Billy Graham, counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died.  He passed away this morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.  He was 99.

Graham held three crusades in St. Louis in 1953, 1973 and 1999.

Fox 2/news 11's Dan Gray talked with St. Louisans who participated in those crusades.

In 1973, Graham spent his 55th birthday in St. Louis during a 10-day crusade at the St. Louis Arena.  Graham was a Southern Baptist preacher and local Southern Baptist Churches took part in the crusade.  One 23-year-old man's life was changed at that '73 crusade.  He sang in the choir. He is now senior pastor at Parkway Baptist Church in Creve Coeur. "It was exciting for a 23-year-old man to be part of something bigger than yourself and then to watch him from a distance to see his influence in the lives of people realizing that's something I could do in the lives of people if I gave my heart to the Lord."

In 1999 Dr. Graham held a four-night crusade at was then the TWA Dome. Nearly 200,000 people came to hear him speak. He preached on materialism. Two other members of Parkway Baptist Church sang in the choir at that crusade.  Cheryl Ferguson told Dan, "it was a neat thing to know that my grandparents grew up with him and my mom grew up with him and I got to participate in a choir with my mother-in-in-law there at the same time just worshiping together and listening to what God had to say through him."

Erin Mozley was 13 when she sang in the choir at the '99 crusade. She said, "it was so awesome and awe-inspiring and for me, it was just a little glimpse of what heaven is going to be like all those people singing praises to God with one voice."

St. Louis Christians remember Dr. Graham as a humble but great man who dedicated his life to preaching the gospel.