Trinity College president, students remember Rev. Billy Graham

FILE – In this Oct 26, 1994 file photo, Evangelist Billy Graham begins his sermon in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died. Spokesman Mark DeMoss says Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. He was 99. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Reverend Billy Graham was one of the most beloved and powerful religious leader of our time, guiding many US presidents and crowds of Christians.

He changed millions of lives and Trinity College in Pasco County is where his passion first began.

Rev. Billy Graham was a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. He passed in his sleep at his home Wednesday morning just before 8 a.m.

Trinity College sophomore Timothy Laker says Rev. Graham was an inspiration in his career choice.

“He had the courage to go out and like, to tents and just speak at stadiums and stuff,” Laker said.

It’s a legacy remembered by Trinity College’s President Mark O’Farrell.

“He was very humble, very open,” said O’Farrell.

He says Graham had the traits of a true leader, someone capable of counseling 13 US Presidents.

“He was real. His secret formula…it was simply this, in my humble opinion. It was intimacy with God, plus integrity with people generated Godly influence. He really was open. He wasn’t searching for anything of any great magnitude, he just wanted to be used of the Lord.”

Those are qualities Trinity College will continue to pass on to its students.

“He’s got some great leadership principals that we can sure utilize over and over again,” O’Farrell said.

Those principals will help shape the future of tomorrow’s religious leaders like Laker.

“I’m majoring in youth pastoring so it really helps out with everything and being here and Billy Graham was definitely helpful to me,” said Laker.

Follow Jenn Holloway on Facebook