Anne Graham Lotz 'Never Felt Called' to Take Reins of Father Billy Graham's Ministry
Anne Graham Lotz carved out a personal path to preaching the gospel that was based simply on her desire to know God, the 63-year-old evangelical told National Public Radio in an interview. She also discussed her relationship with her father, the Rev. Billy Graham, and why she is happy her brother leads his ministry.
In an interview with NPR's Guy Raz, Lotz, the founder of AnGel Ministries, said: "It was when my children were 5, 3 and 10 months old that I just felt the desperate need to get to know God through the pages of my Bible. And as a result, I started a Bible class in my city for the primary purpose of being in it."
After teaching Bible classes, Lotz felt God's direction to turn her class over to someone else and to spread His message around the world.
Thirty-five years later, she has authored 14 books, is the host of a daily radio program that can be heard on more than 700 stations and ministers to huge crowds who journey to hear her preach, both in the United States and around the world.
She describes her preaching as emanating from a female perspective, which she explained as preaching from the standpoint of a woman who is confident and who possesses strong convictions, despite barriers put in place by society.
Lotz said in the beginning, her parents were unsupportive of her decision to preach the Gospel. According to Lotz, this was because they believed in the traditional role of women remaining in the home in to care for their children.
Still, she explained, as much as she loved them, she was not living her life to please her parents. Lotz said after three years of teaching Bible class, she looked up one day and "They were sitting in the middle of my class. I've been going for about five minutes, so I had to, you know, catch my breath, swallow hard and then I stopped and introduced them and then went ahead and finished the message."
Since then, her mother and world-renowned father have been supportive of her commitment to preaching the Gospel.
Considering that, like her brother, Franklin Graham, she has chosen to follow in her father's pastoral footsteps, has Lotz ever had discussions with her father about his choice of Franklin to succeed him?
"No. I didn't. Because, you know, I love my brother. I think he's done a great job with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. And I never felt called. I know people tried to make something out of that or maybe even put a wedge between Franklin and myself, and there's not a wedge there."
She continued, "I believe I'm following what God has called me to do, Franklin's doing what God's called him to do, and Daddy made the decision he felt God put on his heart. So we're all OK with that."