Civil rights leader reflects on Billy Graham's impact on Atlanta, movement

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Former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young said Reverend Billy Graham's approach to the gospel certainly differed from that of the Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but their goals to heal the country divided by racial Injustice and inequality, Young says were in fact, very similar.

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"Dr. Graham would not hold Crusades in the segregated South. He made sure he integrated them and invited people to come from all backgrounds," the former U.N. Ambassador told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner.

Young said Graham often invited Dr. King to speak at his Crusades. He said it was his way of reaching across the aisle to embrace social reform.

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His Christian faith was always intentional. He understood that everybody doesn't need to be marching to live and preach the gospel," the former Atlanta mayor said.

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Young also credited Graham with boosting Atlanta's opportunity to secure the 1996 Olympics.

“He held one of his Crusades in Atlanta in 1994 and I think that really had a lot to do with the success because it meant we had a thousand churches all supporting our bid. Those churches all agreed to host families from all over the world," said Young.

Young said he admired Graham's simple and practical application of the Gospel.

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"Dr. Graham's ministry was never very complicated and it was always very simple. He was reminding sinners that they too are children of God, but not in an accusatory way. People would criticize him for praying with President Nixon during his difficult times, but that was a very important part of Graham's ministry. His faith was always intentional," the former Georgia Congressman added.

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King's daughter Reverend Bernice King posted condolences and fond memories on her Facebook page. and in a statement, recalled how Graham made the bold move of inviting her father to speak in New York in 1957.