A minute with Anne Graham Lotz from HistorysWomen.com

Anne Graham Lotz is a third-generation Christian who has wholeheartedly given herself in service to God. She is a gifted communicator, with excellent abilities in speaking, writing, and teaching the Bible. Anne’s message is clear and simple as she calls people to a personal relationship with God through His Word. Her mission in life is to make God’s Word personal and relevant to ordinary people. And she’s meeting with great success.

Anne has a great spiritual heritage. She was born in May of 1948 to the Rev. Billy and Ruth Bell Graham. Along with her parents, both sets of grandparents were faithful Christians. While it is true that her father was absent much of the time, Anne never grew up resenting him for this. In fact, she was not even aware of what a great man her father was. To her he was just “Daddy”. She knew he was gone a lot, but to the family this was normal. She and her 4 siblings led a sheltered life, her parents wisely shielding them from the scrutiny and exploitation of the press. Her childhood home was in the mountains of North Carolina and she grew up in a very “ordinary” atmosphere. Since her father was gone quite often, most of her childhood was spent under the godly influence of her mother Ruth and her maternal grandmother, Virginia Bell.

As a teenager, Anne found herself in a personal crisis, feeling inferior and continually striving to find her niche in a home where, in her eyes, her parents were “spiritual giants” and her siblings more gifted than she. She also felt the pressure of living up to other people’s expectations. Much was expected from “Billy Graham’s daughter”. It was when she decided to live her life to please God alone that she felt peace in her life.

Anne was married at the young age of 18 to Dan Lotz and has been happily married for 33 years. They live in North Carolina and have three grown children: Jonathan, Morrow, and Rachel-Ruth. It was during her days as a young mother that God cultivated the gift of Bible teaching in her life. As a young mother, she struggled to make God’s Word meaningful in her own life. While she had the fine example of her mother to follow, Anne still struggled to make God’s Word a consistent, vital part of her life. She prayed that God would help her to learn to study the Bible and make it relevant to her.

He answered her prayer by giving Anne the opportunity to become involved in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). With her husband’s encouragement, Anne became a teacher for BSF and this experience laid the groundwork in Biblical study that she had longed for. This experience with BSF also brought to her the realization of her spiritual gifts of teaching and Bible exposition. In 1976 she established BSF in Raleigh and the class immediately had five hundred in attendance, with a waiting list. She continued to teach for 12 years without ever missing a class. During that time, the class multiplied eightfold.

Because of her commitment to BSF, Anne declined many invitations to speak. Though she continued to refuse the requests for her to lecture, invitations kept coming. She began to sense God’s call into an itinerant ministry of Bible teaching/preaching. Anne followed that call and left BSF and began a nonprofit organization called AnGel Ministries in 1988.

AnGel Ministries undergirds the ministry God has called Anne to. She created the name by taking her initials, AGL and adding the “n” and the “e” in between to form the word “angel”. She did this because of her belief in the ministry of angels in the Bible. Anne’s belief is that angels were messengers of God, never going anywhere except where God sent them, never speaking unless they gave out God’s Word , and only addressing those whom God placed in front of them. To her, this described her ministry perfectly because it was her commitment to go wherever God would send her and to speak His Word to whomever He would place in front of her.

Anne has had to work through some crucial challenges in her ministry, but they’ve given her a deeper understanding of the challenges that women in ministry have to face. One such challenge happened when she was asked to speak at a pastors’ conference. Many of those in attendance didn’t agree with the idea of women teaching men and during that conference dozens of pastors in attendance stood up and turned their backs to her. This experience led her to examine her sense of call from God and she prayed fervently and intensely searched the Scriptures for an answer. God confirmed her call through several Scripture passages, one of which is found in Jeremiah 1:17 : “Therefore prepare yourself and arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces”. She good naturedly states that “Only God was telling me not to be afraid of their backs”. She felt God was telling her to stand up and say whatever He told her to. She was, after all, only accountable to God, not her audience. Though she fully accepts her ministry as God’s call on her life, Anne is careful not to offend anyone when she speaks. She only goes where she is invited and never assumes any authority over her audience. She believes her only authority is the authority of God’s Word. Over the years, Anne has used Angel Ministries as a vehicle for presenting God’s Word in a relevant, personal way to ordinary people through live presentations, tapes, and books. AnGel Ministries currently provides an international/national speaking and tape ministry, devotional study books, and a twice yearly newsletter. Today Anne continues to follow God’s call as (in her own words) a “traveling missionary”. She is in great demand as a speaker worldwide and is actively pursuing her life’s mission of bring God’s Word to a needy world.