Singapore church leaders on the passing of Billy Graham

Salt&Light // February 21, 2018, 10:52 pm


Church leaders past and present in Singapore react to the death and life of Billy Graham, the most well-known and well-loved evangelist of the past century.

Bishop Rennis Ponniah, the Diocese of Singapore and President, National Council of Churches:

“Two qualities underlie his outstanding ministry: The compelling desire to win lives to Jesus Christ and the constant desire to be found approved, not by men, but by God. The rest is the story of God’s powerful hand on a surrendered man. Billy Graham is a flaming torch that will fire Gospel ministry for a long, long time to come. Thanks be to God!”

Bishop Terry Kee, The Lutheran Church in Singapore:

“Had the privilege of listening to him ‘live’ all three nights when serving as usher at the stadium in 1978. Impressed with the simplicity of his preaching and inspired by his passion for the lost. After 40 years, I have more respect for him than ever. Although he met, prayed with, comforted and joked with 12 US Presidents and preached to hundreds of millions of lives and many more through the media in 185 countries and territories across six continents, he was faithful to his wife and true to his God and God-given calling as His son and servant. Ten months short of 100 years and not a scandal to his name because he humbly submit himself to his board for financial accountability and made it a point never to meet, travel or eat alone with any woman other than his wife. A good model for all of us.”

Bishop Reverend Dr Chong Chin Chung, The Methodist Church in Singapore:

“I first heard him preach when he came to Singapore. He showed full confidence in the message of the Gospel. I highly respect him and would be thankful to have that same confidence in preaching. Yet in interviews, he was a modest and humble man, gentlemanly in his ways, without any arrogance, an indisputable servant of the Lord.”

Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon, The Methodist Church in Singapore:

“Every generation has its share of spiritual giants who reveal the glory of God. Billy Graham was one in his generation who significantly influenced not only his generation but many younger people. His passing is the passing of an era of evangelicalism characterised by deep commitment to the Gospel of Christ. He and his generation have left behind a legacy, and we today who carry the torch are challenged to show the same faithfulness, conviction and perseverance we have seen in Billy Graham. God buries His workmen but carries on His work. The glory goes to God.”

Bishop Emeritus Dr Wee Boon Hup, The Methodist Church in Singapore:

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“His name will always be a reminder to the Church of our mission to evangelise.”

Reverend Canon Dr James Wong (retired), founding Vicar of Chapel of the Resurrection from the Diocese of  Singapore, and Vice-Chairman in the Singapore Billy Graham Crusade steering committee:

“During the Crusade, I was invited to meet him at his hotel room. I was impressed by his humility and his sincerity. He was interested in my experience of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Singapore which I shared with him. The 1978 Billy Graham Crusade became a turning point for the revival. He challenged the church in Singapore to be a missionary sending church. He prophesied that the church in Singapore would be a missionary sending church to different countries throughout Asia.”

Professor Lawrence Chia, Chairman, Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore:

“The Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore (EFOS) shares with fellow Christians here and worldwide in thanking and praising God for the life and ministry of Dr Billy Graham, including his lasting impact in Singapore church life. His epic meetings in our old National Stadium in 1978 saw the birth of EFOS. Our privileged involvement then has continued till this very day.”

Dr Ernest Chew, Vice-Chairman of the Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore, and Vice-Chairman in the Singapore Billy Graham Crusade steering committee:

“I first heard Dr Billy Graham preach at Wembley Stadium, London, and Great St.Mary’s Church, Cambridge, in 1966, when I was a postgraduate student. He effectively presented the Gospel to both mass and academic audiences. The Chew family were very active in the organisation of the Singapore Billy Graham Crusade in December 1978.  My father, Dr Benjamin Chew, a Brethren Elder, was Chairman of the local Executive Committee, my brother, Jim, chaired the Counselling Committee, and I was one of eight Vice-Chairmen. During the Crusade at the National Stadium (6-10 December), the total attendance was 337,000, and the heavy seasonal rain stopped every evening just before the meetings began! Nearly 20,000 were counselled, and 11,883 received Christ into their lives for the first time. The Crusade sparked a revival, led to the growth of the Church here, and the founding of the Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore in 1980. He is now Home with the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he loved and served so widely and so well.”

Dr Bobby Sng, former President of the Bible Society of Singapore, and a member of the Singapore Billy Graham Crusade steering committee:

“The passage of American evangelist Billy Graham is an event that will be remembered by many. Many here will thank the Lord for the influence he has had on them. They were led to the Lord through his ministry. They are today actively serving in churches. God is great.”

Jim Chew, who chaired a functional committee for the Billy Graham crusade in Singapore in 1978:

“I had 20 minutes with Billy Graham just before he preached at the National Stadium. He asked me to pray for him. What humility! I also caught his passion to be faithful to his calling as an evangelist.”

Senior Pastor Lawrence Khong, Faith Community Baptist Church, and Chairman, LoveSingapore:

He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely (Proverbs 10:5, NASB). The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls (Proverbs 11:30, NASB). Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12:3, NIV). We have lost an extremely wise leader in Billy Graham. My heart is stirred once again for the lost and dying, the harassed and helpless. His dream was world evangelisation. The best way to honour Billy Graham is to live that dream — to do our Father’s will and to finish His work.”

Senior Pastor Reverend Tony Yeo, Covenant Evangelical Free Church, and General Secretary, Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore:

“What a Godly inspiration Billy Graham was to me when I was 15 years old, serving in the choir and counselling team at the 1978 Singapore Billy Graham Crusade. He surrendered unreservedly to a Master worth following. He proclaimed passionately a Faith worth having. He devoted intentionally to a Cause worth pursuing. And he lived faithfully a Life worth living. To the praise of His Glory! Ephesians 1:14”

Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo, Trinity Christian Centre, and General Superintendent, Assemblies of God of Singapore:

“A man of integrity and one who has a passionate heart for God’s agenda. He has set us a modern example of what and how ministers should run the race in Christian ministry and life.”

Senior Pastor Benny Ho, Faith Community Church, Perth:

“What a homecoming it must be in heaven today as Billy Graham steps into the portals of heaven! Truly the passing of a spiritual giant. I said the sinner’s prayer at his Singapore Evangelistic Rally in 1978. I am grateful.”

Reverend Edmund Chan, Leadership Mentor, Covenant Evangelical Free Church:

“Here’s a man who kept his eyes on the cross … preached it with unction … pointed multitudes to its saving power … and he is now in heaven rejoicing because IT’S ALL TRUE! WHAT A GLORY!”

Senior Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong, Cornerstone Community Church:

“We salute a great man and a general. I can hear heaven rejoicing at his Homecoming.”

Senior Pastor Samuel Gift Stephen of Smyrna Assembly, and Chairman of Alliance of Indian Ministries:

“We celebrate the life of one of God’s generals, Reverend Billy Graham. Two very important lessons I’ve learnt from his life is his unwavering passion for souls throughout eight decades, and his strong moral character. Truly, Rev Billy has been a living testimony of God’s faithfulness. To God be the glory.”

Senior Pastor Keith Lai, Covenant Presbyterian Church, and Vice Moderator, Presbyterian Church Singapore Synod:

“My deepest impression of Billy Graham is his anointed preaching that leads to repentance. His own journey of surrender and struggle of faith to accept the Word of God in its entirety is a constant challenge for me to have absolute confidence in God’s written and inspired Word. The lasting fruits and resilience of his ministry inspire me to persevere in the face of adversity.”

Reverend Malcolm TH Tan, Pastor-in-charge, Covenant Community Methodist Church:

“Billy Graham, God’s faithful Evangelist, lived his life just to declare the Good News of Jesus Christ, to as many people as possible and in as many places as possible. May God bring forth many more such people with like passion in the days to come!”

Pastor Joshua Sudharman, Vicar of St John’s-St Margaret’s Church:

“A paragon of faithfulness in a culture of compromise. He has fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith!”

Reverend Dr Tan Soo-Inn, Director, Graceworks:

“You know it’s a matter of time but when you hear of the passing of someone of the stature of Billy Graham, it still feels unreal. My immediate responses, gratitude and inspiration. Gratitude: Thank you Lord for the gift of this precious life. Here was a man who didn’t seek personal glory but was unwavering in his faithfulness to your call to preach the gospel. His obedience has impacted lives for your kingdom to a degree that can not be fully appreciated until that final gathering before your throne. Inspiration: Lord, help me to be more like him. Help me to be focused on what you have called me to do. In a world that is increasingly noisy and distracting, help me, like him, to run the race you have set out for me with faithfulness, especially as the years go by and I enter the third third of my life.”

Senior Pastor Jeff Chong, Hope Church Singapore:

“Thank you, Dr Billy Graham, for a life well lived! Thank you for speaking God’s destiny into our little island state – to be the Antioch of Asia.”

Senior Pastor Guna Raman, Agape Baptist Church:

“Will the world see another Billy Graham? He was given the extraordinary calling to share the gospel at a specific historical moment with more people than anyone before him. And he did it with such finesse of character and courage. Today he has entered into glory, probably welcomed by many whom he had ushered into the Kingdom with his preaching.”

Elder Jimmy Tan, Bethesda Frankel Estate Church:

“I was 15 when I heard him ‘live’ in Singapore. Though I came to faith in Christ before that, I was deeply inspired by the unity of the churches then supporting the crusade. I was privileged to serve as a counsellor, as did many others. Even if no one went down during altar call, I think I would have. It was a simple yet clear Gospel message that thundered deep into my soul.”

Senior Pastor Kenny Chee, World Revival Prayer Fellowship:

“The church has lost a great servant. Billy Graham was the greatest evangelist of the 20th century. His messages were simple, moving and filled with God’s power. His unswerving focus and obedience to God’s call to preach the gospel to the world is an inspiration to all Christian leaders to faithfully fulfill God’s specific calling for their ministry. Most importantly, he lived with integrity, free of greed and showy possessions, and he finished well. Thank you, sir, for being an outstanding model of Christian ministry and leadership.”

Senior Pastor Mark Poh, Emmanuel Assembly of God:

“Truly a great man of God who has taught us about faithfulness to the call and finishing the race well. We honour you. You left an imprint on our nation 40 years ago. We are truly grateful to God for you.”

Senior Pastor Robert Lum, Eternal Life Assembly of God:

“His life and ministry had touched and inspired millions all over the world. Rev Billy Graham is among the few who could unite Christians to preach the Gospel. God’s faithful servant is home.”

Reverend Edwin Lam, President of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, and Senior Pastor, New Life Baptist Church :

“The passing into glory of Billy Graham signifies the end of an era of mass outreach for Christianity. He was a simple man with a simple message that “God loves every individual in the world” regardless of our race, language, colour, and in spite of our helplessness, brokenness and the mess we are in. A giant of his time, he was both a godly and humble man. One of my most memorable moments was when he was speaking on ‘personal holiness’ in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in July 1983, when he said: “Every time I look into my heart, I see the depths of hell!” In spite of his profile, he never thought of himself as worthy for God to use him in such a manner but God, in His amazing grace, did. That’s what inspired me to give up my small ambitions for this noble calling.”

Reverend Dr David Wong, Mentoring Pastor, Zion Bishan Bible Presbyterian Church:

“Unvarnished humility in the midst of popular adulation, and uncommon grace in the face of scathing criticism – these are the marks of greatness in Billy Graham. Neither praise nor criticism turned him aside from his life mission to follow and preach Jesus.”

Vicar Jonathan Wong, Church of the Good Shepherd:

“He has been such an inspiration to me and to many others, especially in his single-minded dedication to being a simple messenger of the good news of Jesus Christ, to a world that desperately needs good news!”

Senior Pastor Neville Tan, Church of God (Evangelical):

“I met him only a couple of times, at evangelistic rallies in Singapore and once in Amsterdam. I believe he is not only the greatest evangelist I’ve heard but talking to him, I believe he is an extraordinary evangelist and his whole life is evangelism. He is a great inspiration to me.” 


Billy Graham dead at 99

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Posted by the Salt&Light editorial team