Watch a story of how The Operation Andrew Group has continued to serve Nashville.
In June 2000, Reverend Graham spoke to the world from Nashville, speaking of God’s love and the importance of building relationships with each other.
It was out of this final crusade in Nashville that Operation Andrew was born. A diverse group of Nashville’s faith leaders, encompassing many denominations, worked tirelessly to keep the unity they had experienced in working for the crusade alive after Dr. Graham had left our city.
Reverend Graham’s advance team, named "Operation Andrew," prepared each city to bring people to the crusade.
This team was named after the apostle Andrew, who brought his brother Peter to Jesus and said, “We have found the Lord!”
After the Nashville crusade ended, this group of influential civic and church leaders asked Reverend Graham if they could use that name for continuing the message of Jesus in Nashville. Reverend Graham gave them his blessing and Operation Andrew was born.
Nearly 20 years later, Operation Andrew Group continues to build unity among Christians in our city with the message of divine hope that Reverend Graham exhibited through his daily walk.
We work to inspire business leaders, to mentor young entrepreneurs, we support Metro schools and their students by partnering them each with a local church to tutor and provide much needed supplies and we support pastors by introducing them to sectors of our city through the LINC program fashioned after Leadership Nashville.
We strive to bring hearts together to serve a new Nashville.
Reverend Graham’s most important lesson was one of example. He truly lived what he believed — especially pertinent in today’s tumultuous world. He lived a life as exemplary on the inside as it was on the outside.
You’ve heard the phrase “walking the walk and not simply talking the talk?” Rev. Graham was the textbook example. How he conducted relationships, how he presented himself and how he remained authentic through his life are lessons for us all, no matter our faith, our background or our place in life.
Billy Graham was a magnet for others. He had the gift of invitation. He invited people into the story of Jesus. He did not make it about himself but rather invited everyone into the compelling story of Jesus.
The barriers among all of God’s people that keep us from simply living God’s story must be eliminated. Until we are working to live authentically and willing to share our challenges of our brokenness, we cannot reach others to share the hope that can be ours as the unified body of Christ.
Billy Graham in Nashville over the years - photos at The Tennessean
Rhonda Lowry is the president of Operation Andrew, a ministry based in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a professor of Spiritual Formation at Lipscomb University in Nashville. Having spent 40 years in the field of education, Lowry also serves as a senior fellow at Lipscomb’s Institute for Christian Spirituality. She and her husband Randy Lowry, the President of Lipscomb University, have three married children and eight grandchildren and have called Nashville home since 2005.
Group photo taken with Billy Graham during the June 2000 Crusade, from top back left: Don Finto, Joe Rodgers, L.H. Hardwick, Jimmy Pickle, Enoch Fuzz, Michael W. Smith, Jim Friedman, Charles McGowan, Billy Graham, Sam Bartholomew, Marty Dickens .
Photo of Billy Graham from BGEA