A large photo of Rev. Billy Graham graces the home page of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization.
The organization, headed by Franklin Graham, the eldest son of Billy Graham, is based in Boone, N.C.
The image of Billy Graham, the world’s best-known evangelist, who has died at 99, is accompanied by a Bible passage, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord...that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." (Revelation 14:13)
Samaritan's Purse mobilizes staff, equipment and volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of natural disasters in the United States and around the globe. Franklin Graham’s salary is $622,000. A spitting image of his tall, handsome father, Franklin is known for steering away from his father’s diplomacy and using strong inflammatory language. A strong supporter of President Donald Trump, Franklin has called for a ban on all Muslim immigration, and reportedly removed the Billy Graham ministry’s accounts from Wells Fargo because the bank produced an ad featuring a lesbian couple adopting a child.
Bob Pierce founded Samaritan’s Purse in 1970 with a vision “to meet emergency needs in crisis areas through existing evangelical mission agencies and national churches.” Franklin met Pierce in 1973, and Graham became president of Samaritan's Purse in following Pierce’s death in 1978.
When the Samaritan’s Purse team heard of the first reported cases of Ebola in Monrovia, they decided to prep themselves and the facility in case of an outbreak. As the virus rapidly spread, their initial preparation efforts ended up being a vital component in saving lives.
Dr. Kent Brantly was a medical missionary with Samaritan's Purse, living with his wife, Amber, and their children in war-torn Liberia. While treating Ebola patients in Liberia, where only one Ebola patient out of dozens had survived, he began to run a fever. He became the first American to return to the United States to be treated for the disease.
At times, Brantly felt like he would die as the virus ravaged his body. But he maintained his faith and “prayed God would be glorified through his life or his death.”
Samaritan’s Purse also runs the Operation Christmas Child, a project which has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 113 million children in more than 150 countries since 1993.
Other programs include the following:
Operation Heal Our Patriots — This program is designed to strengthen the marriages of members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or injured since 9/11. The primary component is Samaritan Lodge Alaska, a wilderness retreat offering outdoor activities and biblically based marriage-enrichment classes.
Animals and Agriculture –Samaritan’s Purse enables families in third-world countries to meet their daily food and nutritional needs by providing seeds, tools and livestock. Programs also include training that enables beneficiaries and communities to transition from subsistence living to sustainability.
Construction Projects — Samaritan’s Purse constructs houses, schools, hospitals and churches for families and communities affected by disaster, poverty and war around the world.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene — In 2016, Samaritan’s Purse clean water programs provided safe drinking water for approximately 400,000 people worldwide in impoverished communities, refugee camps and schools. These programs include wells, water storage and filtration for households and communities, coupled with health and hygiene education.
Women’s Programs — Samaritan’s Purse works to reach vulnerable women by meeting their physical, emotional and spiritual needs through programs focused on maternal and child health, job skills training, education, and the prevention of human trafficking and gender-based violence.
> Sign: Billy Graham guest book
> Photos: Billy Graham through the years