Just how much do you know about Franklin Graham? He is the son of the late internationally-known American evangelist, William Franklin Graham II, who was better known as Billy Graham. Just like his father, Franklin is a Christian evangelist and missionary who has dedicated his life to the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety.
Beyond his Gospel ministry, he is also a political activist and this has landed him in several controversies. Notwithstanding, Franklin is still a respected figure beyond the Christian fold. Get to find out more about him below.
Who is Franklin Graham and How Old is He?
William Franklin Graham III was born on the 14th of July 1952 to the evangelist, Billy Graham and Ruth Graham, a Christian author. He was born in Asheville, North Carolina, as the fourth of his parents five children. Franklin’s notable siblings are Virginia Leftwich (Gigi) Graham (b. 1945), Anne Graham Lotz (b. 1948), Ruth Graham (b. 1950), and Nelson Edman Graham (b. 1958). They are all in one way or the other involved with the Church.
Franklin Graham schooled at a Christian private school in Long Island, New York known as The Stony Brook School. However, he was unable to complete his studies there as he got expelled. He later finished off in another school in North Carolina. In the year 1970, the preacher’s son got into LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas but yet again, he was expelled. His expulsion this time around was for keeping a female classmate past the stipulated time. Nevertheless, he later got into Montreat College, which was formerly known as Montreat-Anderson College, and graduated with an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in 1974. Four years later, Franklin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Appalachian State University.
In his autobiography, Rebel With A Cause, Franklin Graham disclosed that he knew he had a calling for greater things in ministry. Thus following a conversion experience he had in 1974, while in a hotel room in Jerusalem prior to his college graduation, he made a commitment to serve God at the age of 22.
Around this time, still in his early 20’s, the founder of Samaritan’s Purse – Bob Pierce invited Franklin to accompany him on a 6 weeks mission to Asia to which he accepted. It was in the course of this mission that he received a revelation into what his calling in ministry was. Franklin Graham felt a big urge to carter for the welfare of those affected by poverty, disease, famine, war and natural disasters.
As he continued working with Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin got elected into its board in 1978 and in the following year, after the death of Bob Pierce, he was elected President of the humanitarian aid organization. In addition, he now serves as the CEO of the organization and coordinates their humanitarian activities in more than 100 countries of the world. Some of their most notable projects are Children’s Heart Project and Operation Christmas Child.
William got ordained by Grace Community Church in Tempe, Arizona in the year 1982, he had his first evangelistic event in 1989 and now conducts crusades (referred to as Festivals) on behalf of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) all over the world. He has preached in hundreds of Christian events in more than 38 states in the United States and more than 49 countries in the world. Franklin became the CEO of The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and its President in 2001. William Franklin Graham III is still much very active in the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Salary And Net Worth
Considering the nature of the faith-based career the preacher and humanitarian aid worker has pursued over the years, Franklin Graham’s net worth is not exactly known. However, the few available estimates have it that he is worth about $10 million. His father had a net worth of $25 million during his time.
Based on a 2014 report, Franklin was the highest paid employee at Samaritan’s Purse, with a salary of $622,252 annually. He was criticized in 2009 for taking full-time salaries from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse which totalled $1.2 million in 2008. In response, he decided to give up his earnings from BGEA stating that his calling into ministry was not primarily for money. However, in 2015, it got revealed that he has again started taking salaries from BGEA and his earnings were significantly higher than that of others serving in similar and much larger organizations than BGEA.
Family: Wife, Kids
Franklin Graham is married to Jane Austin Cunningham who hails from Smithfield, North Carolina. The couple got married in 1974 and are parents to four children who are now all adults. Their children are William Franklin Graham IV (Will), who was born in 1975; Roy Austin Graham followed in 1977; Edward Bell Graham was born in 1979; while Jane Austin Graham Lynch (Cissie) the youngest was born in 1986. From their kids, Franklin and Jane have about 11 grandchildren.