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More than a statue, it points to a ‘new day’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Bobby Welch, immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was among the speakers at the Dec. 13 dedication of a statue honoring evangelist Billy Graham at its permanent placement at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn.

Following is a transcript of Welch’s remarks:

As God’s people came to the beginning of a NEW DAY, they erected a memorial -– a marker -– a reminder. And they were given the answers to the questions that would be asked of those to come behind them.

Among a number of things, this memorial today provides answers for future generations and footprints which can be followed with confidence into a NEW DAY.

Our generation -– this generation now serves as the MIDWIFE for a distinctive futuristic approach to evangelism and discipleship. A NEW DAY of evangelism and discipleship absolutely must begin immediately to materialize and take on vibrant life, because of the urgent need of a nation, a world and eternal history.

However, no evangelism and discipleship of the future will ever need to go outside the standard of the New Testament and the Great Commission, as has been so clearly demonstrated through the life and ministry of Dr. Billy Graham which always centered upon:

— THE BIBLE as the inerrant and all-sufficient Word of God.

— JESUS, the world’s only Savior.

— THE CROSS and its atoning blood.

— THAT “WHOSOEVER WILL” may come and be redeemed.

— INTENTIONAL WITNESSING, the responsibility of every believer.

— THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL to immediately and radically convert and change any person, anywhere, at any time if they earnestly believe upon Christ as Savior.

— THE LOCAL CHURCH as the center of evangelism and discipleship.

— THE ENTIRE WORLD as every Christian church’s mission field.

This memorial stands here today not only to celebrate the Lord’s work through one man -– Dr. Billy Graham — but also that all generations now and to come may know our commitment to evangelism and discipleship.

And to that end we say, “THANK YOU” -– eternal God!

“THANK YOU” -– evangelist Graham!

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