Remembering Reverend Billy Graham, ‘He has never been more alive than he is today’

We learn about Reverend Billy Graham's legacy and his deep connection to Rochester.

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 7:30 AM
Updated: Feb 22, 2018 7:41 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The death of Reverend Billy Graham is being felt all over the world and deeply here in Rochester.

“Rochester has a big connection with Billy Graham,” John Steer, Senior Pastor at Autumn Ridge Church, said. “The Mayo Clinic used to give free medical care to missionaries and evangelists like Billy Graham … Billy Graham and his team would come here for medical care.”

Steer said when Rev. Graham would go to Mayo, he would also visit Autumn Ridge Church.

“My predecessors told me they would often look up and there was Billy Graham in the congregation on a Sunday morning” Steer said. “A terrifying experience! It never happened to me.”

But Steer did get the chance to meet Rev. Graham. Graham had known the long list of pastors at Autumn Ridge and reached out to Steer so he could know him, too.

“I got a phone call saying Billy Graham would like to meet with you and I thought it was a friend pulling my leg,” Steer said.

He said meeting the legendary gospel leader was a thrilling experience. Steer remembers Graham as genuine and authentic, which is why he thinks Graham was able to reach so many people.

“We’ve seen over the years some televangelists who’ve been involved in scandal. Throughout his life Billy Graham was blemish free, he really did live out what he preached,” Steer said.

Steer read a few of Graham’s books, participated in three of his crusades, and even got to meet him. Steer said even today, he still follows a piece of advice Graham gave him personally.

“He told me to always have my bible open on my desk. When you have it, you will look down, you will look down, you will see divine truth, ideas will come to your mind…if you were to go up to my study now you would see my bible there,” Steer said. “Very simple but very helpful.”

Billy Graham often preached about heaven and eternal life which is why Steer said Billy Graham is more alive today than he’s ever been.
“He’s been looking forward to going to glory…to go home…and home for the Christians is God’s house,” Steer said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 489116

Reported Deaths: 6614
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1014901592
Ramsey43327810
Dakota36619394
Anoka33496391
Washington22208262
Stearns18822202
St. Louis14887265
Scott13403107
Wright12609116
Olmsted1185990
Sherburne878574
Carver787641
Clay695588
Rice677691
Blue Earth601035
Kandiyohi581274
Crow Wing523582
Chisago501745
Otter Tail486071
Benton450990
Winona419749
Mower410831
Douglas394568
Goodhue389069
Nobles387247
Polk345063
McLeod341250
Beltrami338951
Morrison327747
Becker314842
Itasca314646
Lyon313845
Isanti309456
Steele303611
Carlton300449
Freeborn286424
Pine283216
Nicollet262441
Todd249730
Brown248237
Le Sueur238120
Mille Lacs229447
Cass221224
Waseca210417
Meeker208134
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
Dodge15404
Renville152640
Redwood147127
Fillmore13969
Pennington138716
Chippewa136935
Cottonwood136020
Wadena131420
Faribault124917
Aitkin119133
Sibley118310
Watonwan11828
Rock116314
Kanabec108820
Pipestone101824
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9548
Jackson94610
Swift87818
Pope8165
Marshall78615
Stevens7478
Lake74218
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68716
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5173
Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4798
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41021
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 337676

Reported Deaths: 5494
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52087560
Linn19512317
Scott17167212
Black Hawk14970293
Woodbury13847214
Johnson1317075
Dubuque12450196
Dallas1022593
Pottawattamie9897146
Story965045
Warren514976
Clinton502684
Cerro Gordo501383
Webster495788
Sioux480369
Marshall465273
Des Moines428461
Muscatine426393
Buena Vista413237
Wapello4059110
Jasper387767
Plymouth368978
Lee354653
Marion341571
Jones285155
Henry279837
Bremer270555
Carroll266948
Crawford253635
Boone244330
Benton241154
Washington239547
Mahaska215746
Jackson210339
Dickinson204240
Tama203065
Kossuth198655
Delaware186240
Clay184425
Winneshiek183628
Fayette179335
Page178119
Buchanan177829
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172723
Hardin170239
Harrison167670
Clayton160254
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145741
Allamakee144848
Madison143218
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132430
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129611
Cass129651
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123247
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115340
Humboldt113725
Franklin109719
Guthrie109628
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9720
Montgomery96936
Clarke95120
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida81832
Adair81630
Pocahontas80919
Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72221
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
Decatur5719
Fremont5619
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50620
Audubon4759
Wayne47221
Adams3194
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