MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - First Baptist Church Pastor Jay Wolf remembers the city, the year and the handshake.
"Thirty years ago, 1988.. I was a pastor in Alexandria, Virginia. I did spend some time with Billy Graham. In fact, one of the highlights was one day, one afternoon in Washington, D.C., we met with Billy Graham. I had these vivid memories of getting to shake hands of this gracious and incredible servant of Jesus Christ," said Wolf.
Billy Graham made a lasting impression on Wolf, one he'll never forget. The famous preacher died Wednesday at the age of 99.
"He reeked with humility and Godliness. He was a Christ-like man," Wolf said.
And neither will the millions Graham ministered to in countless venues, including Cramton Bowl in 1965. It was an eight-day crusade, close to 100,000 attended. Graham arrived in Alabama at the request of President Lyndon B. Johnson not long after civil rights marchers were attacked by police dogs.
"He was beyond a rock star. Billy Graham has always been in the top 5 most recognizable names in the world," Wolf said.
Wolf said he knows what set Graham apart. Graham was powerful and eloquent.
"And what's unique, he was anointed by God. He wore that mantle with consistency. He was consistent Christ-like man with humility and integrity," said Wolf.
Billy Graham also spread the good news in other Alabama cities such as Dothan, Auburn and Tuscaloosa.
Billy Graham's first evangelistic crusade was 1949 in Los Angeles.