What is your Spiritual Heritage?
If you were saved when hearing Billy Graham preach, you can trace your Spiritual heritage back to the man who is considered the greatest evangelist of the nineteenth century.
Billy Graham; how far back can he trace his Spiritual heritage? In 1854, there was a seventeen year old boy who worked as a shoe salesman in Detroit.
Edward Kimball, a Sunday School teacher, stopped by the shoe store where that boy worked, and led him to the Lord. That boy was D.L. Moody. What would have happened if this Sunday School teacher had not been concerned for the soul of that 17 year old?
D.L. Moody led J. Wilbur Chapman to the Lord during one of his evangelistic meetings.
Billy Sunday was converted at a J. Wilbur Chapman evangelistic meeting.
Mordecai Ham was saved at a Billy Sunday meeting.
I got curious about my Spiritual heritage and decided to trace it today. Wow, was I ever encouraged about a mother, grandmother and great grandmother who touched their child’s life with the love of Christ and by having a Godly home. Because of them, my life was forever changed centuries later.
At age twenty, I was saved at college when a young lady (named Susan Wang), in Campus Crusade for Christ, shared the Four Spiritual Laws with me.
Have you heard of Bill Bright? He was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ and wrote the Four Spiritual Laws tract.
I wonder where I would be today if not for Bill Bright, Campus
Crusade for Christ and The Four Spiritual Laws tract.
Over the years, I have heard some Christian leaders criticize Billy Graham and Bill Bright. I have concluded that this type of criticism makes God sad. I have even heard Christian leaders criticize the Four Spiritual Laws tract, but all I know was, “Once I was spiritually blind before I read that tract and after reading it, I could see!” Amen, I COULD SEE! April 6, 1975, I was born again! Oh, and our son was gloriously saved as a child while watching the Jesus Film, which is another very effective evangelical tool produced by Bill Bright.
Bill Bright led thousands of souls worldwide to the Lord, including myself. I wanted to know who influenced Bill Bright. So, I started digging.
Bill Bright; where did his Christian heritage begin? As a young man, Bill Bright was converted by the colorful hat lady, Christian youth leader, Henrietta Mears. Every time Henrietta taught the Bible, she gave an invitation to trust Jesus as Saviour. Henrietta Mear’s Sunday School class grew from 450 to more than 6000 in 1933. Under her influence, Bill Bright wrote a signed contract to God, “I am your slave.” Henrietta Mears led thousands to the Lord and gave young people the vision to be actively involved with the Great Commission. Henrietta influenced Bill Bright to have this goal: “Win the campus to Christ today, win the world to Christ tomorrow.”
Who influenced Henrietta Mears?
I was so encouraged to learn that Henrietta’s mother, Margaret Everts Mears was her driving force behind her early devotion to the Lord. Henrietta was saved at age seven. Her home life provided rich spiritual nourishment for her. The days in her home began with prayer, Bible reading and hymn singing. Isn’t this the way every Christian home should start their day?
Mothers and Grandmothers, be encouraged! Henrietta’s mother mentored Henrietta just as Henrietta’s grandmother mentored her mother.
Her grandfather on her mother’s side was Dr. W. W. Everts (1814-1890), Pastor of First Baptist Church of Chicago. While growing up, Henrietta heard preaching from G. Morgan Campbell and R. A. Torry. Henrietta could trace her spiritual heritage back to five generations on her mother’s side. It is written about Henrietta’s great grandmother, “She walked with the Lord and her voice was lifted continually to give praise to God.” Wouldn’t I love to have these same words said of me!
Dr. W.W. Everts, Henrietta’s grandfather said of his mother, Phoebe, “My mother, more than any other human being, determined my character and destiny.” After reading this quote, I asked myself, “What difference am I making for Jesus Christ?”
Billy Graham credited Henrietta Mears, “I doubt if any other woman outside my wife and mother has had such a marked influence on my life. She is certainly one of the greatest Christians I have ever known!”
When Bill Bright passed away, Billy Graham said, “”He has carried a burden on his heart as few men that I’ve ever known – a burden for the evangelization of the world. He is a man whose sincerity and integrity and devotion to our Lord have been an inspiration and a blessing to me ever since the early days of my ministry.”
I am grateful to Henrietta’s godly mother, grandmother and great grandmother for investing spiritually in their child. Henrietta, in turn invested
spiritually in the life of Bill Bright. Bill Bright, through Campus Crusade for Christ and the Four Spiritual Laws led me to the Lord. Even though they are all in heaven, they touched my life, and I will never be the same.
Have you taken the time to look up your Spiritual ancestors? I learned so much about Henrietta Mears today. She is such an encouragement. Would you like to share your Spiritual heritage?