John Graham

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Blantyre Folk

John Graham
(1899 – 1993)

The Blantyre Saint

This poem is dedicated to a Christian called John Graham, who puts his trust in Jesus Christ, our saviour bless his name.

John Graham

A sinner like the rest of us,
was destined for to burn,
but he gave his heart to Jesus,
and from his sins did turn.

At first he did not have the truth,
and thought life couldn’t be finer,
then looking at nature’s beauty thought,
a design must have a designer.

The lost souls on the streets today,
it saddened John to see,
so many on the sinful path,
to a lost eternity.

So John vowed unto our Lord,
that all who’d gone astray,
he’d lead them to the glorious path,
that one be saved each day.

So John’s been on the Blantyre streets,
how long? he can’t remember,
Big Geordie says two hundred years
and four months come December.

I’m sorry John, for my wee joke,
believe me this is true,
for all the people you have helped,
I really envy you.

Because all the Angels up in heaven,
are of one accord,
for all the souls that you have led,
to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gerry McLaughlan 1987

People Like Us Can’t

We all remember John Graham who used to preach in all the streets of Blantyre, affectionately known as, “The Blantyre Saint”.

Well today, his son, James Graham, has published a new book about his torturous journey from being born in a tenement in Broompark Road, through his early education at High Blantyre Primary and Calder Street Secondary School, to becoming a Brickie and then training as a Nurse at Hairmyres Hospital. He then married and went on to The University of Glasgow to study medicine and became a Doctor.

This is a truly inspiring and motivational book and I believe that it should be read by every teenager in order to give them a sense of what can be achieved in their life.

The first book is called, “People Like Us Can’t”, and is already on Kindle at Amazon.

And today the book will be launched on Amazon Books for £8.45. You can also get a signed copy of the book direct from James at his Blog here.

You can also buy it from this site here: here:


This is what my friend Jim Cornfield wrote about John…

Blantyre’s Evangelist.
(John Graham. 1899-1993)

John Graham was a man and Christian Evangelist, who walked the streets of Blantyre, preaching the word of God to anyone who would listen to him. He preached in all kinds of weather, come rain, hail or shine, starting with a hymn, followed by a sermon from the Bible. He must have had a rota system for going round the many streets, because he could be found at certain times, on certain days, in certain streets and in this way he covered the entire parish of Blantyre.

John was in my estimation a true Christian and to my knowledge not a regular member of any of the local religions or churches during the many decades he preached his version of Christianity.

In later days he joined the Brethren of the Bethany hall, but always retained his independence by returning to his mission and lone vigil in life, of spreading his version of the word of God to the people of Blantyre.

He died on the 1st December 1993, aged 94 years and is buried in Priestfield Cemetery, a fitting resting place for this apostle of Christ. I hope John found all the happiness and peace in his Heaven that he promised to everyone who would repent and turn to God. I’m sure he did, because ‘if we are to be judged by our life on earth’ he surely earned his place there by his faith and way of life

“Requiescat in peace, John.”

James Cornfield 1998


Your Comments:

John Ryan-Park: I remember a preacher man who used to come round to back of the old red building and read out to all the families from the Bible. This was every Sunday at the corner of Victoria Street & Glasgow Road Blantyre.

Mary Davies: Remember him well. our Wednesday nights at the Church, and a penny caramel on the way out. What an inspirational man he was. God Bless him.

Jan Ritchie: I knew of him but did not know his background or his amazing achievement in his education!! What a man! x

Fiona Norton Young Duffy: Remember him well he used to stand at the corner of ma street on a Sunday a mind wan day alby took the mike & started singing x

John Ryan-Park: I remember all us wains would go to the Wee Free Church across from the old Post Office. We sang hymns like ” Traveling home to glory like the LMS the lords my shepherd ” he will answering me….We all were given sweets from the preacher!

Eunice Graham: The book has loads on Grandpa, Blantyre and its people. X

Ann Millar: It sure was Jimmy!! awe the weans uze tae gether roon him n listen tae him n awe!! A real gentleman n a we were awe weans when he came roon the streets.

Georgina Durnan: I remember Mr Graham well he was a lovely man and would never pass anyone without speaking to them lovely memories of a lovely man bless his soul x

Amanda Hobbs: My grandad, Hugh Graham, was an evangelist who used to preach on his soap box in South Queensferry. He was originally from Airdrie. Wonder if they were related??

Allison Bancroft: Remember him so well lovely man he would stop and preach outside ma gran’s in victoria st god bless him xxx

Loraine Mccabe: My dad was telling me about John Graham the other day my dad is Billy Mckee, stayed in Logan street with his aunt Bella Hailes (maiden ) name then married Tommy King.

Marian Maguire: God bless him, I remember him well when I first came to Blantyre. A true man of God.

Mark Mckay: What a character he was. We used to call him the guy that talks to the hooses.

Stuart Oneil: Remember as a wee boy. John preaching outside my house. All the kids used to gather round to listen him.

Ann Crossar: I remember him going round the streets preaching. God bless him. X

Cheryl G. Roark Irrizary: God bless his memory. And his family. Might he be related to the NC famous evangelist Billy Graham?

Christine Allan Brown: I remember him in Hawthorn Place, my boys would stand right in front of him amazed.

James Graham: The book, my autobiography, obviously has details about my dad John Graham especially in the chapter on Home and Family. More info on my website I am a retired doctor, and since I came to be a doctor by an unusual route, I am writing my memoirs in two…

Jean Gibson: Remember him well. He also came to Burnbank.

Helen Stewart: Big part of our childhood this man used to go to his church for clubs etc.

Liz O’Neill: A lovely man I remember him well.

Annette Tait: Mind him well …u cd here him aw er the scheme. ..was actually a lovely wee man.

Fiona Connell: I used to be his home help nice man.

Isabella Johnston McShane: God bless Mr Graham remember him well, outside our house under the lamp post.

Helen Dyer: I remember him well, he could be seen anywhere just passing on the message.

Pamela Bushell: Remember him well out in all weather

Anne Richardson: I used to think he was preaching at ma da.

Fiona Norton Young Duffy: Same guy Clare x

Eleanor Duncan Nailon: Remember him so dearly.

Jimmy Whelan: Great achievement from another fine Blantyre man…

Nathaniel Mains: What a guy!

Michelle Graham: Great picture of my Grandpa Graham

Norman Graham: Well done Dad, brilliant achievement smile emoticon.

James Graham: Thanks for that Bill. Excellent piece.




Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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