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Mordecai Ham was born April 2, 1877, in Scottsville, Kentucky. He came from eight generations of Baptist preachers. He came to Christ by the time he was eight years old and remembers: "At nine I had definite convictions that the Lord wanted me to preach."

But after high school, he changed his plans and went to Ogden College to study law. He was too young for a Bar exam, so his plans changed again and he took a job as a traveling salesman for a grocery company. From 1897 to 1900 a new plan…he was crew manager for a picture-enlarging firm in Chicago.

But at age 21 he finally gave in to God’s plan for him to preach. In December 1900 he quit his business. He gave his partner his entire share in the business, borrowing money to get started in the Lord’s work. For the first eight months of 1901 he carefully studied and prayerfully read his Bible.

In late 1901, Mordecai preached his first sermon and immediately the Lord started using him. He became an itinerant evangelist and led more than 300,000 people to Christ.

During one week in 1934, he was preaching in Charlotte, North Carolina, when a 16-year-old boy heard his message. The boy returned a second night and gave his life to Christ. That 16-year-old boy was William Franklin Graham Jr. Mordecai continued to be faithful in his preaching until the Lord called him home in 1961.

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