Celebrated preacher Billy Graham remembered for drawing big crowds in Canada

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CALGARY — The Rev. Billy Graham is being remembered in Canada for drawing big crowds to evangelical campaigns he led across the country over four decades.

The celebrated preacher who was a confidant to U.S. presidents died Wednesday at 99 at his North Carolina home.

Fred Weiss was 12 years old when he attended a few days of a week-long crusade at Calgary’s McMahon stadium in 1981.

Weiss, who is executive director of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada, had watched Graham on TV and heard his gospel message all his life.

He says he was struck by the consistency and simplicity in the way Graham preached at the Calgary event.

Graham led 13 crusades in Canada between 1955 and 1998 — the first took place over a month at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

The Canadian Press