William Franklin Graham, III, born 14 July 1952, is the fourth of five children born to evangelist Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth Bell Graham. Raised in a log home in the Appalachian Mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina, Franklin now lives in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina.
Franklin was born into a heritage rich in Christian ministry. By the time of Franklin’s birth, Billy Graham was already known around the world as a spiritual leader, but he wasn’t the only spiritual giant in the family. Franklin’s maternal grandfather, Lemuel Nelson Bell, was a medical missionary to China for more than 20 years, a respected moderator of his denomination, the Presbyterian Church in the United States, and a co-founder and executive editor of Christianity Today.
At age 22, after a period of rebellion and travelling the world, Franklin committed his life to Jesus Christ while alone in a hotel room in Jerusalem. Soon after that, Dr. Bob Pierce, founder of Samaritan’s Purse (and World Vision), invited Franklin to join him on a six-week mission to Asia. It was during that time that Franklin felt a calling to work with hurting people in areas of the world affected by war, famine, disease and natural disasters.
Franklin is on the Board of Directors for Samaritan’s Purse Australia Ltd.