How This Famed Evangelist Reacted When Someone Failed to Recognize Him

(Charisma News Archives)

Bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins has written almost 200 books in his long career, including the bestselling Left Behind series, which has sold in the realm of 16 million copies. He has worked with and written for everyone from the late Pastor Tim LaHaye, who collaborated with him on that series, to sports figures and major Christian leaders. But on a popular episode of the Greenelines podcast, Jenkins shares a story about the late, great Billy Graham that reveals the evangelist's humble personality—and his sense of humor.

"He was the same behind closed doors as he was in public—very humble, very Christ-honoring," Jenkins says. "I worked with him for about 13 months off and on, traveling down to North Carolina. My wife said every time I came back, I looked like I was walking on air.

"But we worked, and he wanted to get away from the office, and we went to a hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida," Jenkins says. "And he was trying to keep away from too many phone calls and visitors. And one morning, he wanted to get a haircut."

Jenkins followed Graham to the hotel barbershop, where, he says, "He was getting a haircut, and the manicurist struck up a conversation with him. She said, 'So what do you do?'

"And in his inimitable accent, he said, 'I'm a preacher.'

"And she goes, 'Oh, I don't care for too many preachers; I don't listen to too many preachers.' And she said, 'In fact, the only preacher I'll listen to is Billy Graham.'

"And he said, 'You like Billy Graham, do you?'"

"She said, 'Oh yeah, he preaches straight from the Bible. I really learn a lot from him.'

"He said, 'Well, thank you. I'm Billy Graham.'

"And she said, 'Oh, you don't even look like him.'

"The barber backed up and pointed at him and said, 'It's really him,'" Jenkins recounts. "And she said, 'Oh my God."

"No, but I work for him," Graham told the woman.

"He was a wonderful person and really unique," Jenkins says. "I don't think we'll see the likes of him again." For much more from Jerry Jenkins on his writing, his memories and his new book, The Chosen: I Have Called You by Name, based on the popular television series The Chosen, produced by his son Dallas Jenkins, listen to the entire episode of Greenelines at this link, and subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring stories like this one.

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