Billy Graham Never Collected “Love Offerings” Wherever He Preached?

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“When Graham first came to London, a considerable group of church leaders was wondering whether to invite him to preach there. They were critical, but he had anticipated their questions. He was able to say that he received a fixed salary, less than most salaries paid to the senior pastors of large churches, and he received no “love offerings” (unaccounted extras). As for crusade finances, they were published in the press during each crusade”.

For a man of Billy Graham’s stature to have worked in ministry as a salaried staff baffled many people.
He started off by collecting “love offerings”/honorarium but later resorted to a more transparent structure that will be devoid of abuse and irresponsibility.

It is almost certain no preacher may have won more souls than Mr. Billy yet he never allowed money to distract him. It was a determined decision to walk in integrity.

His ministry was not a one-man show. “A notable feature of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is that it has never been a one-man show. True, Graham was always the main preacher. But the trio of Graham, Cliff Barrows, and Bev Shea always appreciated and supported one another. No traces of jealousy spoiled this cooperation”.

HOW DID HE DO IT?

“Since the beginning of our evangelistic ministry, we have been deeply concerned about the financial integrity of our work. We believe we are accountable to God for all money entrusted to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). We consider ourselves stewards before the Lord.

When we began our evangelistic ministry almost all evangelists were supported by voluntary “love offerings.” Occasionally this led to financial abuses, and in the minds of many people, mass evangelism came to be associated with an “Elmer Gantry” image of financial irresponsibility and even dishonesty.

We set out to change this image by forming a small board and setting up a non-profit religious organization. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was formed in 1950. We stopped receiving “love offerings” shortly thereafter and put every member of our staff, including me, on a fixed salary. All funds received for our ministry go to the BGEA. In 1950 this was a new concept in this type of evangelism; we were determined to have total financial integrity.

When the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was founded we not only prayed that God would provide the finances necessary for our own direct ministry of evangelism, but that he would entrust us with enough financial resources to help missions and other evangelical projects throughout the world. We determined to attempt to tithe all funds that were given to us for evangelism and dedicate this tithe to help other ministries that supported evangelism, missions, and Christian education. We felt at the time that it was scriptural and that God would honor our efforts and motives. I understand …”

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