Billy Graham’s Ties to Bowling Green

The man dubbed “Americas Pastor”, Billy Graham, has died at 99 years old.

He touched millions across the world, but his way to Christ has ties to right here in Bowling Green.

Burton Memorial Baptist Church dates back to 1850, but Billy Graham’s story began decades later with the founding preacher’s grandson.

The present-day preacher at the church, Dallas Goebel, tells the story by memory…

In the mid 1930’s Mordecai Ham Jr., born in Scottsville and ordained right here at his grandfather’s church, was preaching at a rival in Charlotte, North Carolina, when Billy Graham came to faith…preaching to a crowd of around 5,000.

“Going back to the 1850,” Goebel says, “One pastor in the rural city of Bowling Green, preaching the gospel, raising a family of believers, eventually leads to the conversion of one of the most well-known evangelists in history.”

Preacher at the Bowling Green Christ Fellowship Church, Lance Parrott, says America has big shoes to fill with Graham’s passing, but he’s confident his message about Christ is and has already led and will continue to lead many to God,

“I remember hearing Billy Graham when I was 18 years old at the Titan’s Stadium in Nashville and just how simple his message is about Jesus and it made me – at that time I knew I was going into the ministry – It made me want to tell people about Jesus and preach about Jesus, so it’s cool to see that even Billy Graham’s legacy started right here at a small baptist church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.”