I just learned that Billy: The Early Years will be released in select theatres on October 10th, around the same time Reverend Billy Graham celebrates his 91st birthday. Although his health is failing, he still maintains his reputation as one of the world’s most renowned (and beloved) evangelists. Given his enormous following, plus the sneak-peek screenings in the Bible Belt, I’m guessing this movie will generate a great deal of buzz.
I’m compelled by a more personal connection—a shared history. My father and Billy Graham were classmates at the Florida Bible Institute in the late 1930s. Both entered college as simple farm boys; both exited as God’s evangelists. But while Billy Graham was televising his ministry around the globe via satellite, my father was crisscrossing the Sawdust Trail, revival tent in tow. Same calling, far different trajectories.
I was fascinated by Franklin Graham’s criticisms of this film biography. I’m looking forward to seeing where his memories of his father intersect with—and differ from—those of his siblings, each of whom brings a unique point of view to their collective story. A memoir is different than a biography; I know that. Still, since I have several sisters and brothers, CAN I GET A WITNESS might one day face similar scrutiny.
Are you interested in seeing this movie. I’m curious…why or why not?