Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Graham grandson returns to the flock
His prodigal son story includes a new book and leading a church in south Florida.
Published September 4, 2007
MARGATE - The pastor's hair is spiky, his beard is scruffy, his skin is tan. He talks of his youthful forays into drugs and sex. Even his name - Tullian Tchividjian - is far different from that of his famous grandfather.
He calls the family patriarch Daddy Bill. That's Billy Graham to you.
Tchividjian cuts a far different profile than evangelicalism's elder statesman. It's not that he isn't proud of his heritage. But at 34, back in the fold, with a book just out and a congregation to call his own, he says the spiritual path he's forging is all his own.
"I'm not sure that carrying my grandfather's torch is what I or any other young evangelical would want said about us," he said in an interview at his office. "There's a distinction of what God has called me to do and what God has called him to do."
That struggle - between who he is and what his family represents - has been playing out throughout Tchividjian's life.
The middle of seven children born to Stephan Tchividjian and Graham's eldest daughter, Gigi, the young minister said he couldn't figure out where he fit in growing up. So he turned to familiar distractions.
"I rebelled against everything my family stood for," he said.
At 16, unable to obey his parents' basic rules (like not bringing drugs in the house), he was escorted by police from his home. He dropped out of school and spent the next five years partying on South Beach, looking for women and getting high.
Eventually, he said, he bottomed out. He arrived home late one night, coming down from a high and literally fell to the floor.
"'God, I have tried my best to ignore you and to do things my way,'" he remembers praying. "'I'm broken. I'm broken and in need of fixing.'"
Tchividjian recommitted himself to Christ, entered the seminary, became a minister. He married and had three children. He started the New City Presbyterian Church, a 450-member church in Coconut Creek. He wrote a book, Do I Know God?, in which he asks readers to ponder the title's question.
New City's music director Brandon Wells, a college friend of Tchividjian, said he sees similarities between grandfather and grandson. Wells said Tchividjian is a traditionalist who stays close to the podium when delivering a sermon, uses notes and takes his message very seriously.
"Their gifts are different but they both possess a unique gift of communicating the Gospel simply," Wells said of Graham and his grandson. "Tullian has a more scholarly approach to his preaching ministry than I think his granddad did, but he takes his learning and he's able to sort of distill it into language that I think everyone can understand."
Now he contemplates his own voice among evangelicals, one he hopes is known among his congregants for voicing what he is for as much as what he is against. He sees it as a positive message. An apolitical one.
"Evangelicals, by and large, began to believe that the way to change the world we live in was through the political process," he said. "While we need to remain culturally engaged, the political process is not the only way."
As for his grandfather, Tchividjian calls him one of his closest friends and one of his most reliable counselors. As a kid, he spent about six weeks at Graham's North Carolina home each summer, and a couple more when his grandfather visited Florida around Thanksgiving. He didn't always recognize how important Daddy Bill was.
He knows full well now what Graham's affect on Christianity has been. Photographs of him are piled on the young pastor's desk and a recommendation letter he wrote on his grandson's behalf is beside his computer. Graham wrote the foreword to Tchividjian's book and his name is at the top of its cover. The rest of the book seldom mentions the famous preacher.
Graham describes his grandson's return to faith and the message he promulgates in his book: He calls it an answer to his prayer.