Tulsa pastors mourn the death of Billy Graham

Posted at 6:03 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 19:03:58-05

TULSA, Okla. -- Many Christians in Tulsa say they learned to find their faith through the gospel of Billy Graham.

For those now at the front of the pews, they find his influence was key.

"I think all young pastors and living pastors have an admiration for Billy Graham because he has always conducted his ministry in a very public way but also with a lot of integrity, and always garnered respect in everything he does," Pastor Eric Costanzo at South Tulsa Baptist said.

Costanzo worked with Graham during crusades and a conference. He said his admiration stems from the reverend's ability to connect people to a common message.

"There are a lot of other things floating out there that we could focus on or that could even divide us. To come back to the heart of the gospel is the message of Jesus. Whatever else might cause contention among people, coming back to the heart of gospel there's a unity that can be found," Costanzo said.

Guy Ames with Asbury United Methodist remembers Graham for his ability to create unity with anyone. 

"Probably once every 100 years you have a leader like Billy Graham. There are not many like this, because he brought people together from not only every walk of life but also every Christian denomination," Ames said.

One of Graham's early crusades was in Oklahoma during 1956. This inspired the creation of Asbury United Methodist. After growing up listening to Billy Graham, Pastor Ames said there will be a hole that's tough to fill.

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