One Soul at a Time: The Story of Billy Graham

Grant Wacker
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Published Year: 
Rev. Billy Graham poses in a chair on cover of Grant Wacker biography.

Grant Wacker, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Christian History at Duke Divinity School, has written a biography of the Rev. Billy Graham. Many consider Graham, who died in 2018 at age 99, one of the most influential voices in the Christian world in the 20th century.

The book, One Soul at a Time: The Story of Billy Graham, was published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. in September and is part of the Library of Religious Biography series. The new biography offers a sweeping, easy-to-read narrative of Graham’s life.

Nearly 215 million people around the world heard Graham preach in person or through live electronic media, almost certainly more than any other Christian evangelist. While remaining orthodox at the core, over time his approach on many issues became more irenic and progressive. And his preaching continued to resonate, propelled by his powerful promise of a second chance for everyone through Christ. For millions, Graham was less a preacher than a Protestant saint.

Drawing on decades of research on the North Carolina native and on American evangelicalism, Wacker has used personal interviews, archival research, and unpublished photographs from the Graham family.

Where Wacker’s previous book on Graham published in 2014, America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation, was an interpretive study of the interaction between Graham and modern American culture, One Soul at a Time is a narrative of the life of the man himself.

“Grant Wacker has given readers an authentic portrait of my brother," stated Jean Graham Ford of Charlotte, N.C., who is Billy Graham's younger sister and last surviving sibling, about Wacker’s new biography.

Wacker is a historian specializing in the history of Pentecostalism, evangelicalism, world missions, and American Protestant thought. He is the author of several other books including Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture, Religion in Nineteenth Century America, and Augustus H. Strong and the Dilemma of Historical Consciousness. His writing has appeared in The Christian Century and Christianity Today, and he has served as editor on numerous books concerned with the intersection of American culture, religion, and history.

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