by David Cawston

Finishing Strong
David Cawston
II Timothy 4:7-8

The year was 1945.
Three men came shooting out of the starting blocks like rockets.
27 year old, Billy Graham came storming out seemingly nowhere to fill auditoriums across America, speaking to as many as 30,000 people a night.

Graham became the first full time evangelist for Youth for Christ and his reputation as a uniquely gifted preacher roared across America like a prairie fire.
But Billy Graham wasn't the only young preacher packing auditoriums in 1945.

Chuck Templeton and Bron Clifford were accomplishing the same thing.
All three young men were in their mid twenties.
One seminary president, after hearing Chuck Templeton preach one evening to an audience of thousands, called him "the most gifted and talented young man in America today for preaching".

Templeton and Graham were friends.
Both ministered for Youth for Christ.
Both were extraordinary preachers.
Yet in those early years, Most observers would have put their money on Templeton.
As a matter of fact, in 1946 the National Association of Evangelicals published an article on men who were best used of God in that organizations five year existence.
The article highlighted the ministry of Chuck Templeton.
Billy Graham was never mentioned.

Templeton, many felt would be next Babe Ruth of evangelism.
Bron Clifford was yet another gifted 25 year old fireball.
In 1945 many believed Clifford the most gifted and powerful preacher, the church had seen in centuries.
Clifford preached to an auditorium of thousands in Miami, Florida.
People lined up ten and twelve deep outside the auditorium, trying to get in later.
Later that same year, when Clifford was preaching in Chapel of Baler University, the president ordered the class bells turned off so the young man could minister to the young men without interruption to the student body.
For two yours and fifteen minutes, he kept those students on the edge of their seats as he preached on ...

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