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Lotz, Anne Graham 1948-

LOTZ, Anne Graham 1948-

PERSONAL:

Born May 21, 1948, in Asheville, NC; daughter of Billy (a Southern Baptist evangelist) and Ruth (Bell) Graham; married Daniel Lotz (a dentist), September 2, 1966; children: Jonathan, Morrow, Rachel-Ruth.

ADDRESSES:

Office—AnGeL Ministries, 5115 Holly Ridge Dr., Raleigh, NC 27612. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

Bible study instructor and evangelist speaker. AnGeL Ministries, Raleigh, NC, president and CEO, 1988—.

MEMBER:

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Gordon-Cornwell Theological Seminary (board member), Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Four honorary doctorates of humanities; Gold Medallion awards, Evangelical Christian Publishing Association, for The Vision of His Glory, God's Story: Finding Meaning for Your Life through Knowing God, and Just Give Me Jesus; Golden Word Award, 1998, International Bible Society.

WRITINGS:

The Vision of His Glory: Finding Hope through the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1996.

The Glorious Dawn of God's Story: Finding Meaning for Your Life in Genesis, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1997.

Daily Light, J. Countryman (Nashville, TN), 1998.

God's Story: Finding Meaning for Your Life through Knowing God, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 1999.

Just Give Me Jesus, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2000.

The Daily Light Journal: Evening Readings, J. Countryman (Nashville, TN), 2000.

Heaven: My Father's House, foreword by Billy Graham, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2001.

My Heart's Cry, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2002.

Why?: Trusting God When You Don't Understand, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2004.

ADAPTATIONS:

Many of Lotz's books and other writings have been adapted for audio and video, available from AnGeL Ministries.

SIDELIGHTS:

One of five children of Southern Baptist evangelist Billy Graham and his wife Ruth, Anne Graham Lotz has become an internationally known inspirational speaker and teacher in her own right. She is also president and CEO of AnGeL Ministries, a nonprofit organization that distributes her message and interpretations of the Bible through presentations, books, and audio and video tapes. Lotz teaches spiritual lessons based on her belief in Jesus Christ and her belief that an eternally peaceful and happy life after death is possible for humans only through such faith.

In The Vision of His Glory: Finding Hope through the Revelation of Jesus Christ, based upon an earlier audio tape series, Lotz takes a devotional approach to exploring and interpreting the Bible's Book of Revelation. "Revelation can seem like an intimidating book with its strange beasts, fiery prophets, images of blood and destruction, dragons, angels, pale riders, and end-of-the-world scenarios," declared Candy Paull on the A Closer Look Web site. The Vision of His Glory offers a solid, user-friendly, and relevant perspective on Revelation, noted Paull, adding that Lotz explains the symbols used, provides historical background on the early Christian church and persecution of Christians, helps readers relate to the Scriptures and apply lessons from these writings when dealing with painful and difficult situations in their lives today, and gain a sense of hope.

Although Lotz has long been considered the "child… who had inherited the greatest share of Billy's gift," her brother Franklin is expected to eventually take over the leadership of their famous father's evangelistic organization, according to David Van Biema in Time. Lotz has embraced the idea of this mantle being passed to Franklin, Van Biema reported. Lotz informed Jan Jarboe Russell in Good Housekeeping that, growing up, she had never planned to preach, and she struggled with the pressures of being the famous evangelist's daughter and having to keep up a favorable appearance. She skipped college to become a dentist's wife, homemaker, and mother of three. Later, feeling restless and trapped in her role as a "typical mom," she began teaching a weekly women's Bible class at a local church in 1976. The experience excited but also frightened her as attendance began with five hundred, Russell said, and it became clear to others and to Lotz that she shared her father's speaking talent.

Lotz's process for solving problems in her own life is a spiritual approach similar to the one she has spoken and written about. Russell noted that Lotz occasionally faces hostility from people, including some male ministers, who believe she should not be preaching. But her father always encouraged her to follow her calling, Lotz told Russell. Billy Graham has referred to his daughter Anne as the best preacher in the family.

In Just Give Me Jesus, structured around the Gospel of John, Lotz offers advice to those who are stressed and in need of spiritual comfort. She recalls tough points in her own life, including years of infertility before she and her husband had Jonathan, and the miscarriage that followed before her second and third children were born. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the small volume "a clear winner, because [Lotz's] folksy, anecdotal writing is endearing, and her love for Jesus radiates off the page." Christian Reader contributor Randy Bishop noted that Lotz conducts revivals under the same name as the title of the book. "There's no admission fee," noted Bishop, "a financial step of faith for Anne's ministry, and, though promoted to women, the events are open to men."

Lotz told Jane Johnson Struck in an interview for Today's Christian Woman that she needed the revivals, particularly after living through the late 1990s, when a number of consecutive events "left me crying out desperately for God." First, Hurricane Fran hit her family's home. They were without power for six weeks and lost more than 100 trees. Then an electrical fire destroyed the office of Lotz's husband. This was followed by the weddings of their three children in less than a year, and the attendant planning for those of the two girls. Jonathan was diagnosed with cancer one month before his wedding and underwent surgery. Daughter Ruth also had five major surgeries in less than a year, requiring Lotz to make many trips to the hospital. She was simultaneously attempting to stick to her speaking schedule and other responsibilities.

Lotz said, "I was tempted to pull back within myself and tell the world to get lost. But I chose to stay active in my ministry. My heart cried out, just give me Jesus, because I felt that if I had a fresh encounter with him, my questions about what was going on in my life either could wait—or he would be the answer. I opened my Bible and prayed, 'God, I need a supernatural touch from you.'" Lotz said that she tried to get the revivals started three times before she was successful. Since then, she has held them around the world.

Why?: Trusting God When You Don't Understand is dedicated to "those who have unanswered prayers." Lotz draws on John 11 and tells the story of sisters Martha and Mary and the death of their brother, Lazarus, and his resurrection by Jesus. She notes that loss and suffering are unavoidable, and, as she told Jana Riess in a Publishers Weekly interview, "Sometimes there are reasons for us to have pain. God wants us to know by experience that his grace is sufficient for us. Brokenness leads to blessing, suffering leads to glory, and death leads to life."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Christian Reader, September, 2000, Randy Bishop, review of Just Give Me Jesus, p. 18.

Good Housekeeping, January, 1997, Jan Jarboe Russell, interview with Lotz, p. 24.

People, September 11, 2000, Nick Charles, Don Sider, Gail Wescott, "A Legacy of Faith: Anne Graham Lotz carries on her father's tradition of saving souls—even her own," p. 153.

Publishers Weekly, April 10, 2000, review of Just Give Me Jesus, p. 94; January 26, 2004, review of Why?: Trusting God When You Don't Understand, p. 247, Jana Riess, "Finding God in our suffering" (interview), p. 249.

Time, May 13, 1996, David Van Biema, interview with Lotz.

Today's Christian Woman, May-June, 2003, Jane Johnson Struck, "Woman of the Word" (interview), p. 34.

U.S. News and World Report, December 23, 2002, Jeffrey L. Sheler, "All in the Family," p. 36.

ONLINE

A Closer Look,http://www.acloserlook.com/ (July 28, 1997), Candy Paull, review of The Vision of His Glory: Finding Hope through the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Anne Graham Lotz Home Page,http://www.angelministries.org (May 15, 2004).

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