William Franklin Graham III known as Franklin Graham, is an American Christian evangelist and missionary. He is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization. He became a committed Christian in 1974 and was ordained in 1982.
Franklin Graham was born (July 14, 1952) into a heritage rich in Christian ministry and raised in the Appalachian Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. As a teenager, Graham attended The Stony Brook School, a Christian private school on Long Island, New York, and finished high school in North Carolina. By the time of Franklin’s birth, Billy Graham was already known around the world as a spiritual leader, but he wasn’t the only spiritual giant in the family. Franklin’s maternal grandfather, Lemuel Nelson Bell, was a medical missionary to China for more than 20 years, a respected moderator of his denomination, the Presbyterian Church in the United States, and a co-founder and executive editor of Christianity Today.
In 1971, Franklin attended LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas, and was expelled from the school for keeping a female classmate out past curfew.
In 1974, he graduated from Montreat-Anderson College, now Montreat College, with an A.S. and in 1978 from Appalachian State University with a B.A.
In 1974, at age 22, after a period of rebellion and traveling the world, Franklin committed his life to Jesus Christ while alone in a hotel room while on a trip to Jerusalem. Soon after that, Dr. Bob Pierce, founder of Samaritan’s Purse (and World Vision), invited Franklin to join him on a six-week mission to Asia. It was during that time that Franklin felt a calling to work with hurting people in areas of the world affected by war, famine, disease, and natural disasters. And since then, He has devoted his life to meeting the needs of people around the world and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As a young man, Graham was actively mentored by two senior members of the Billy Graham Team; Roy Gustafson and John Wesley White. These men worked alongside Billy Graham and had a desire to positively affect the life and ministry of the eldest son of their longtime friend and colleague.
Franklin Graham has served as the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse since 1979. Under his leadership, Samaritan’s Purse has met the needs of poor, sick, and suffering people in more than 100 countries
Graham began conducting events for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1989 and became the CEO in 2000 and its president in 2002. Each year, he conducts at least five Graham Festivals around the world as an evangelist associated with the BGEA. Since 1989, he has preached to more than three million people in 126 evangelistic events. . As an evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, he has led crusades around the world.
He was ordained in 1982 by the Grace Community Church in Tempe, Arizona
Marriage and Family
He married Jane Austin Cunningham of Smithfield, North Carolina, in 1974. They have four children: William Franklin Graham IV (Will) (1975), Roy Austin Graham (1977), Edward Bell Graham (1979) and Jane Austin Graham Lynch (Cissie) (1986). Lynch is now married to the National Football League’s Corey Lynch, safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Graham and his wife have eleven grandchildren.
Raised in a log home in the Appalachian Mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina, Franklin now lives in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina, with his wife, Jane Graham.
- Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts(B&H Publishing, 2013)
- The Sower: Finding Yourself in the Parables of Jesus(Worthy, 2012)
- Billy Graham in Quotes(Thomas Nelson, 2011)
- A Wing and a Prayer(Tommy Nelson, 2005)
- All for Jesus(coauthored with Ross Rhoads, Thomas Nelson, 2003)
- Kids Praying for Kids(Thomas Nelson, 2003)
- The Name(Thomas Nelson, 2002)
- Living Beyond the Limits: A Life in Sync with God(Thomas Nelson, 1998)
- Rebel with a Cause: Finally Comfortable Being Graham(Autobiography, Thomas Nelson, 1995)
- Miracle in a Shoe Box(Thomas Nelson, 1995)
- Bob Pierce: This One Thing I Do(Word, 1983)
- Honorary Chairman, 2010 National Day of Prayer
- William Booth Award, presented by the Salvation Army
- 1999 “Tar Heel of the Year” by The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
- 2002 “Daniel of the Year” by World magazine
- 2014 “Watchman Award,” Family Research Council
- Whitworth College
- Toccoa Falls College
- LeTourneau University
- Lees-McRae College
- National University
- Liberty University