Billy Graham: the Author

Celebrating the fruit that came from his publishing ministry.

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The sheer volume of newspaper columns, magazine articles, and books written by Billy Graham may go unmatched by any other evangelist. It’s a legacy that solidifies his influence in the last half of the 20th century and beyond.

by Marty Duren

Billy Graham, world renowned evangelist and Pastor to Presidents, will almost certainly be more remembered for his evangelistic crusades that for his writing, though he was no lightweight as a writer and author. In addition to a newspaper advice column (My Answer) that has run for 60 years, Graham’s magazine, Decision, reached some 2 million subscribers in six languages and Braille. His 33 books sold well more than 10 million copies during his lifetime.

Eric Geiger, Senior Vice President at LifeWay Christian Resources, noted: “We all recognized that lives of millions of individuals were eternally changed by Dr. Graham’s preaching ministry. What is often less celebrated is the fruit that inevitably came from the publishing ministry God gave him. Through his dozens of books, Dr. Graham reached tens of millions of individuals with the same life-changing gospel that marked the entirety of his life and ministry.”

Peace with God, published in 1953, was Graham’s first best-seller. He wrote it with considerable input and advice from his wife Ruth. The book sold 125,000 copies in three months; by 1965 it had sold 1.25 million copies.

Through his dozens of books, Dr. Graham reached tens of millions of individuals with the same life-changing gospel that marked the entirety of his life and ministry.

Eric Geiger, Senior Vice President, LifeWay

The Jesus Generation (1971) sold 200,000 copies in the first two weeks after publication. Angels: God's Secret Agents (1975) sold one million copies within 90 days of release. How to Be Born Again (1977) saw a nearly unheard of first printing of 800,000 copies. (By way of comparison, the average non-fiction book in the United States today sells less than 2,000 copies in its lifetime.)

Graham’s writing spanned a wide breadth of subjects, two themes received a lot of attention: how to have a relationship with God and eschatology (or the “end times”). Books encouraging people to come to Christ include Calling Youth to Christ (1947), Peace With God (1953), Facing Death and the Life After (1987), Hope for the Troubled Heart (1991), and The Reason for My Hope (2013). Among titles related to the return of Christ or prophecy were America’s Hour of Decision (1951), Till Armageddon (1981), Approaching Hoofbeats (1983), and Storm Warning (1992). 

The sheer volume of newspaper columns, magazine articles, and books written by Billy Graham may go unmatched by any other evangelist. It’s a legacy that solidifies his influence in the last half of the 20th century and beyond.