Saturday’s Daily Record ran a story celebrating 55 years since Billy Graham’s Tell-Scotland crusade in Glasgow, back in 1955.  A few weeks ago a journalist phoned me to see if I knew anyone who had been converted at that crusade.  “Certainly,” I told her, “my father!”  I’m delighted to report that the journalist followed this up and my father’s testiomy appeared on Saturday along with a photo of him.  Here it is, and i hope it is an encouragment to you all. 

Ian, 75, of Dundee, gave up his job as a waiter to become a labourer and stopped drinking, swearing and telling lies after he heard the evangelist at Ibrox.

He said: “I used to be a terrible swearer and drinker, just like any other fellow, and I told lies, stole and used God’s name in vain. All that stopped when I converted. It wasn’t until I heard Billy speak that I became conscious of the fact I was a sinner.

“I’d always gone to Sunday School and was a member of the Boys’ Brigade, but I didn’t think too much about it. My father was a publican and I worked in his bar. It was when I was in the RAF and stationed at Middleton St George in County Durham that I started going to church more often. But initially I went along for a skive. I soon started to feel a real presence of God, asked to join the church and was confirmed.

“I began to think more about God and so, when Billy came to Glasgow, I felt compelled to go and see him.

“It was a Saturday afternoon and I was meant to be working in my dad’s pub that night. I started singing hymns in the choir and was amazed when Billy said that back home in the States a barman had asked him: “Can I be a barman and still be a Christian?” His answer was no.

“Yet here was I, supposed to be working in the pub hours later.

“When he asked people to come forward, I went to the front. I’d been confirmed into the Church of Scotland when I was in the RAF so he asked if I wanted a reaffirmation. I said, ‘No, sir. It’ll be a conversion.’ I instantly felt a load off my back, as if the burden of sin has rolled off me. I called my father and told him I wouldn’t be coming to work that night and he understood. I knew I couldn’t go back to my trade as a waiter so I became a labourer and later worked with a tractor company.

“The experience of hearing Billy at Ibrox was unbelievably uplifting. I went back to see him when he came to Parkhead in 1991.”

His son, also Ian, is a Church of Scotland minister who heads up the evangelical organisation Forward Together. He said: “I’m always coming across people of my father’s generation whose lives were transformed by Billy Graham’s visit to Scotland.

“It was an amazing experience for people and a time when the Church of Scotland hit its highest membership.

“There’s no doubt what he preached was very powerful.”

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John Blanchard returns

April 12, 2010

Thought you all might like to know that John Blanchard is making a return trip to Kirkmuirhill Church on Friday 30th April at 7.30pm. John, who has recently lost his wife, will be speaking on the subject “Where is God when it hurts?” This is a great opportunity to invite non-Chrisitan friends to hear the gospel presented in a robust, intellegent and winsome manner.