To counter what he said were mounting accusations that he lacks social dimension, evangelist Billy Graham announced here that he and his association would begin publicizing their charitable projects.
Graham told a press conference that in his 30-year ministry he did not feel it necessary to talk about what projects the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association financed and supported. But, because of growing criticism from mostly mainline liberal Protestant and some Catholic clergy, Graham said that it is time to start making those projects public.
Graham said that one project involves rebuilding an entire flood-ravaged town in India including construction of 21 churches there, most of them Finnish Lutheran. His association also helped to send 12 planes of food and supplies to Guatemala after an earthquake devastated the country several years ago, and is helping the so-called "boat people," the refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia.
"We've raised millions for social causes throughout the world," he said.
The evangelist said that he and his association were deeply involved in the fight for racial equality in the South. He cited examples of speaking in the early 1960s to integrated congregations in Tennessee and Alabama.
"Anyone would tell you that we changed the whole history of Birmingham, Alabama, they city that was on the verge of racial upheaval," Graham declared, adding "Martin Luther King Jr., said that if it had not been for the ministry of Billy Graham, he could not have done the work that he did..."