As Americans mourned the death of the Rev. Billy Graham on Wednesday, most remembered him as a pastor with the ability to lead thousands to Jesus, take presidents under his wing and console a nation after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
But it was in the suburbs of Chicago where he learned how to amplify his voice as a preacher.
It didn’t take long for Graham and the congregation of Western Springs Baptist Church, his first pulpit after graduation from Wheaton College, to conclude he was better suited to preach in stadiums than sanctuaries.
“This is where he got a taste of glory, a taste of fame and the gratification that comes from speaking to huge crowds,” said Grant...