Dr. William “Will” Franklin Graham IV, the grandson of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, has been selected as the keynote speaker for the University of the Cumberlands’ 11th Annual Excellence in Leadership Series, which is sponsored by The Forcht Group of Kentucky.
Graham will speak about “Christian Leadership” as part of the event, which will be held in the University’s O. Wayne Rollins Center on April 12.
Graham is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ under the banner of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). He is the oldest son of Franklin Graham.
The first of Will Graham’s crusade-style events – called Celebrations – took place in 2006 in Alberta, Canada. His first Celebration on United States soil came later that year in Gastonia, N.C. Since then, he has held evangelistic outreaches on six continents around the world.
In 2014, Graham held multi-day events in Australia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Papua New Guinea, and the United States. His 2015 schedule includes domestic evangelistic efforts, as well as outreaches in Tanzania, Canada, and multiple cities in the Philippines.
“I’m not trying to be the next Billy Graham; I’m just Will Graham,” said the ordained minister. “I have a burden in my heart to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If that’s to an arena full of people or one person on the street, I will do whatever God is calling me to do.”
In 2012 Graham was named vice president of the BGEA, overseeing Children and Youth Evangelism Training, which includes Dare to Be a Daniel (a youth evangelism course targeted at “tweens,” ages 9-14) and The Ultimate Mission (a children’s discipleship curriculum); and the BGEA’s new Distance Learning Program, which uses the internet to teach people how to share their faith.
He also serves BGEA by overseeing operations and programming for the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C. The Cove offers multi-day seminars on a variety of Christian subjects and features nationally-recognized speakers.
UC’s annual lecture series is made possible by an endowment from local business owners Dr. Terry and Mrs. Marion Forcht, who founded The Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership in 2006. The purpose of the Center is to provide programs and activities that enhance the development of leadership, character and good citizenship. Past speakers in the series have included Roy Moore, Zell Miller, Stephen Covey, Ben Stein, Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Charles Krauthammer, Ben Carson and Fred Thompson.
Free tickets are available to the leadership program on the University of the Cumberlands’ website, http://www.ucumberlands.edu/tickets. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are required for admission.
Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; ten pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.