Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Houston Baptist University president, along with the faculty, staff and entire family of HBU, extend our sincere condolences to the family of the Rev. Billy Graham. We remain grateful to the world’s best-known evangelist, and remember his dedication message at HBU’s (then Houston Baptist College) inaugural convocation on October 30, 1963. The celebration of a new college in Houston was city-wide. Public schools even bused students to hear Graham at the new higher education institution.
In a letter he wrote to commemorate HBU’s 50th anniversary, Graham penned, “What a joy it was to see so many young people listen to a message about Christ, and to see their response to the Gospel. I also vividly recall Dr. Hinton, the Morrises, and so many others in the city of Houston and at Houston Baptist College who welcomed me on that occasion. I am also especially blessed to have learned from my daughter Anne that the University has remained faithful to the challenge of being a great Christian university. I have often, throughout the ministry the Lord has given me, called for a great Christian university in America. I believe that Houston Baptist University can be, and is already becoming, that university.”
Dr. Sloan said, “The passing of Billy Graham into the presence of Christ not only reminds us of the millions who personally heard the Gospel through his worldwide crusades, but also of his bold, yet humble witness to world leaders and to ordinary folks alike. At HBU, we join the hundreds of millions of Christians and others worldwide who mourn his passing, but also give God thanks for his godly life, and give thanks that we were significantly influenced by him. Billy Graham spoke on the HBU campus some 54 years ago, and prayed publicly that, as a University, we would become a great and faithful witness to Jesus Christ. We continue to this day to try to live up to his faithful prayer on our behalf.”