I Got To Hang Out With Billy Graham

Throughout my life I have been blessed to work with, and learn from, great men and women of God. One of my first mentors was Doug Moody. Doug was the Music Pastor at the church I grew up in. He was a master musician and I was blessed to have taken piano lessons from him for many years.

I remember Doug writing Big Band charts and other orchestrations for his albums and recordings. Doug was a big inspiration to me and my first musical mentor. When Doug stepped down from conducting Glad Tidings’ 120 voice choir and orchestra, I was blessed (and more than a bit intimidated) to follow as the next conductor and arranger. Talk about ‘big shoes to fill’.

Billy Graham

When the Billy Graham crusade came to Vancouver in 1984, I was honoured to become the ‘Chairman of Music’ for the crusade. Frankly, I didn’t deserve that honour. The crusade team routinely asked the choir director with the biggest choir in town to be the chairman. I just happened to have inherited Doug’s great choir. He deserved the honour, I was just a fortunate substitute.

One evening before the crusade, my wife Anna and I got to have dinner with Billy Graham and the team. Wow! We sat at the table with George Beverly Shea.. double wow! I was all of 29 years old. What an underserved honour. What great people and incredible world changers they were! What faithful servants of God they were! What a great team they had! I was so blessed to spend that week with them at the crusade.

Another one of the special people that I got to meet and work with was Kathryn Kulhman. Kathryn had an amazing healing ministry that touched people from around the world. Our Living Sound team was asked to provide music for her meetings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel. I remember her coming to our preservice prayer meetings. She was so friendly and gracious. She reminded me of my Grandma Cole. Ms. Kulhman was 68 years old at the time, and as it turned out, that was her last public meeting before she passed away the following February. Here is a picture of her praying for me before one of our meeting in Israel.

Mark Cole & Kathryn Kuhlman

To have met and worked with such amazing people was such a privilege. They have set the bar so high. Their passion and faithfulness to do the work of God and preach the Good News of Jesus is outstanding.

Question: Which godly men and women have inspired and/or taught you?

Check out my new book: “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure’. It is now available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.

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4 Responses to I Got To Hang Out With Billy Graham

  1. Sylvia butler says:

    Now I understand why we had such an incredible Music Pastor in you Mark, at CLA. Not for just your many gifts and abilities at playing so many instruments and orchestrating and leading worship…I believe your humbleness before God and ‘man’, as shown here in your recollection of this time period, allowed you to rise to become a priest who was annointed to bring others before God in worship and praise. The songs that flowed demonstrated God’s pleasure and I am so priviledged to have been a part of that time frame in your life. I so enjoy these stories and thank you for sharing them with us all.

  2. Mark Cole says:

    Hi Sylvia.. thanks for your kind comments…Working at CLA in those years was an honor.. Thanks for all the work you put in with the choir.. it was a fun group!

  3. Pingback: My Favourite Music Gigs So Far ~ Part 1 of 2 | Following God: Notes ♫ From A Grand Adventure

  4. Gordon Schuk says:

    I knew you from the time you were a young boy, and even then, you were a very teachable young man, and obviously you learned a lot! Danny Burr is another good
    example of the youth Glad Tidings had back then

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