Evangelist Billy Graham Immortalized in Bronze

“A statue of Billy Graham was placed in Nashville in late 2006 as part of the SBC’s tribute to the famed Southern Baptist evangelist. It depicts Graham standing before a towering cross, dressed in a three-piece suit, with a Bible in one hand and his arms outstretched. It is a powerful reminder of Dr. Graham’s personal dedication to telling others about Jesus Christ.” (Source)

Just a tidbit of information taken from Lifeway.com that I thought was interesting. The Graham part is nine feet four inches tall and the cross portion seventeen feet. A stone at the foot of the cross is engraved with John 3:16 (of course) and three nails. The statue was finished last year and unveiled at the SBC’s annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C., in June. Then it went on to be displayed prominently in Nashville, Tennessee – just outside the SBC Headquarters there.

Graham appreciates the tribute according to what David Bruce, Graham’s executive assistant, told the Dallas Morning News. Bruce made sure to report, though, that, “Mr. Graham is humbled by those kinds of things and it’s nothing he seeks out. He’s tried to deflect those kinds of earthly honors. He’s not searching for any” (source). At this juncture, I am inclined to note that Graham did not pose or sit for the sculpture. Insomuch, the sculptor/pastor, Terrel O’Brien, was forced to gather magazine pictures and images from which to work. Being a twenty-four year veteran of the sculptor’s trade at fifty-eight years old, O’Brien doesn’t seem to have had trouble despite that.

This writer is more than happy to see Mr. Graham receive recognition for his life of work; he’s been an amazing and enduring witness for Jesus Christ. I might be more concerned if Graham had had a hand in all this. That said, I’m not sure about this statue business – actually that’s a lie. I’m fully sure that I don’t like it. Something about not making graven images just keeps nagging at the back of my mind. I do not like it, Sam I am, I do not like green eggs and ham and seventeen foot tall bronze statues of mortal men with only marginal emphasis placed on the real centerpiece of importance: the merciful God who first gave life to Mr. Graham and then decided to use him in such a way that the SBC feels it necessary to celebrate the guy’s life and work.

Now I must leave you, my readers, so that I can gather all my jewelry together and smelt it into a golden calf…

One Response to “Evangelist Billy Graham Immortalized in Bronze”

  1. I too am somewhat relieved that Graham did not take part in the making of the statue, which would bother me a great deal. What does bother me, though, is not the idea of graven images (okay, it niggles a little, but that’s not the point), but I keep wondering what else could have been done with that kind of money. Aren’t there better ways to exemplify Kingdom living on earth than making a bronze statue of Billy Graham?

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