Although illness and age have slowed him, evangelist Billy Graham is considered by Protestant senior pastors to be the most influential Christian figure and most trusted spokesperson for the faith, reports the Barna Group pollsters.
Pastor-author Rick Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life) was runner-up (26 percent) to Graham (34 percent) when a random national sample of 614 pastors was asked to name up to three people who have the greatest influence on churches and church leaders. President George W. Bush was third at 14 percent.
When the question changed to “most trusted,” Graham was named by six out of ten pastors (58 percent). Finishing a distant second at 20 percent was Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, followed by Warren.