Billy Graham’s longtime pastor and friend, Don Wilton, shares personal insights and wisdom gained from his personal times over more than 15 years with America’s pastor in the new book “Saturdays with Billy: My Friendship with Billy Graham” (Thomas Nelson, 193 pages).
The senior pastor of nearly 30 years at First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, and founder of the global network, The Encouraging Word, Wilton shares how his friendship with the man he affectionately called “Brother Billy” influenced his spiritual journey, and how Graham’s words continue to inspire today.
Most every Saturday until Graham’s passing in 2018, Wilton drove the long road to meet with Graham at his home in Montreat, N.C. The two friends spent hours drinking tea, praying together, reading Scripture, having a great deal of fun, enjoying meals, and talking about life and faith.
“Saturdays with Billy” includes more than 20 stories of these great friends, such as Graham having Wilton preach to a tree, Wilton sneaking into an event where Graham addresses the Scottish Parliament, Graham’s request for Wilton to preach at his funeral without using his name, and others.
“Mr. and Mrs. Graham’s beautiful home, built on the side of a mountain overlooking a magnificent town and valley, was, for me, the ultimate place of worship,” said Wilton. “Every Saturday those piercing eyes told a thousand stories as they gazed out across the brilliance of the mountains. His gaze shifted from the front lawn of the house, across the distant hills, and all the way to the ‘uttermost part of the earth’ ” (Acts 1:8 KJV).
Throughout the book, color photography brings the stories to life as Wilton shares the life-changing words of a man who preached the gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history.