The Billy Graham Library is dedicated to the life and legacy of the famous American Pastor, who used indoor and outdoor rallies, as well as radio and television broadcasts to speak to millions of believers.
The exhibition A Journey of Faith not only reflects his very own journey but is also meant as a continuation of his “Crusades” and Ministry, where “people would have the opportunity to be won to Christ”.
The Billy Graham Library is located off Charlotte’s Billy Graham Parkway between I-77 (exit 6B) and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
The 40,000 square-foot (3,716 m²) barn-shaped Billy Graham Library is dedicated to the life and legacy of Billy Graham (born 1918), the famous American evangelical Christian Pastor, who rose to celebrity status in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He reached large crowds of believers through his indoor and outdoor rallies, which he called the Billy Graham Crusades, as well as radio and television broadcasts.
It is estimated that during his more than 60 active years, Billy Graham’s lifetime audience exceeded 2.2 billion people. He conducted 400 Crusades in 185 countries and territories on six continents, “preaching the gospel to more people in person than anyone in the history of Christianity”.
Billy Graham was also the spiritual adviser to several sitting U.S. Presidents, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) and Richard Nixon (1913-1994). Although a registered Democrat, Billy Graham maintained a nuanced view on political affairs and tried to avoid explicit political partisanship. It is said that he was outspoken against Communism and supported the “cold war policy” of the U.S. to contain its spread, and was also supportive of the Vietnam War. In 1991, he spoke in favor of the Persian Gulf War, stating that “there comes times when we have to fight for peace”.
Billy Graham was against segregation and maintained close friendship with Rev. Martin Luther King, Junior. In 1957 during Billy Graham’s summer-long New York Crusade, both took the stage together in New York City at Madison Square Garden, the Yankee Stadium and Times Square, and spoke to over 2 million people “boldly taking a stand to help end segregation in the United States”.
The Billy Graham Library opened to the public on June 5, 2007, just a few miles from where Billy Graham was raised. Visitors enter the Library through doors below a 40-foot (12 m) glass cross, which lets light shine into the barn making it bright and airy. The Library building is styled after a dairy barn to reflect Billy Graham’s upbringing on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Charlotte NC.
Following the main exhibition A Journey of Faith, visitors can retrace Billy Graham’s own journey through a combination of multimedia presentations, interactive kiosks, photos and memorabilia, including a tent of his early Crusades and a full-size diorama of a section of the Berlin Wall, which once divided Germany.
The exhibition is also meant to be a continuation of his “Crusades” and Ministry, where “people would have the opportunity to be won to Christ”.
One gallery is entirely devoted to his late wife Ruth Bell Graham (1920-2007), who was born in China as the second of five children to her parents Dr. L. Nelson Bell and Virginia McCue Bell, who were medical missionaries at a Presbyterian Hospital 300 miles (480 km) north of Shanghai. At age 13, she was enrolled in high school in Pyongyang, Korea. Three years later in 1937, the family moved to Montreat NC, where she finished her high school education. Billy Graham and Ruth Bell met at the Wheaton College outside Chicago IL and married on August 13, 1943. One year later, the couple moved to Montreat NC near her parents where they continued to live for the rest of their married life. Ruth Graham died on June 17, 2007 and is laid to rest in the Prayer Garden.
Part of the Library complex is Billy Graham’s childhood home, where he lived from age 9 to when he left for college. Built in 1927 some four miles (6.4 km) away, the home was moved to its present location and meticulously restored using 80% of the original materials.
Last updated: March 2017
All exhibitions are indoors.
The Billy Graham Library is family friendly.
With the exception of guide dogs, pets are not permitted on the property.
The Billy Graham Library is accessible with a stroller.
The Billy Graham Library is accessible by wheelchair.
Sandwiches and salads can be purchased from the Graham Brothers Dairy Bar.
Personal food and beverages are not permitted. There are no picnic tables available on the property.
Several short films are part of the tour A Journey of Faith.
Restrooms are near the Information Desk at the Entrance and near Gallery 3 at the far end of the exhibition space.