The Billy Graham Library is a public museum and library dedicated to Christian evangelist Billy Graham’s life and ministry. On June 5, 2007, the 40,000-square-foot (3,700-square-meter) complex opened to the public. The library is located on the grounds of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s international headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, just a few miles from Graham’s childhood home. To reflect Graham’s farm-based youth, the library is designed to look like a dairy barn, complete with a mechanical “talking” cow.
Many presentations, photographs, music, artefacts, and voices from throughout Graham’s ministry can be found in the library’s primary galleries. Ruth Bell Graham, the evangelist’s wife, is the focus of one gallery. “Ruth’s Attic” is a café and bookstore with a dairy bar. Visitors enter through doors at the base of a 40-foot (12-meter) glass cross. The Prayer Garden, where Ruth Graham was buried on June 17, 2007, is also on the Library grounds.
Ruth Graham was initially opposed to being buried at the library, preferring instead to be buried at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove near Asheville until shortly before her death. Wilma “Billie” Barrows, the wife of Billy Graham’s longtime Music Director Cliff Barrows, was laid to rest on the grounds of the Library in March 2009. George Beverly Shea, a gospel musician and a regular featured vocalist on Graham’s show, was also buried there in April 2013. After his death in November 2016, Barrows was buried next to his wife on the grounds.
Graham’s funeral was held on the grounds of the Library on March 2, 2018, following his death on February 21, 2018. It was held in a tent, identical to the tents where he held his first crusades. Graham had been laid to rest in his childhood home near the library, as well as at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., prior to his funeral. Graham was buried close to his wife in the Library’s Prayer Garden after the ceremony.
Who is Billy Graham?
Only God knows how significant this dairy farmer’s son’s contribution to world evangelism will be. Billy Graham has pursued a singular vision—to share the love of Jesus Christ with all who would listen—from humble beginnings on a farm to his decision for Christ at a local revival on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina, to his travels around the world speaking in stadiums filled to capacity.
He has met Presidents, monarchs, queens, celebrities, and ordinary men, women, and children while doing so. The message is the same regardless of who he is speaking to. Billy Graham once observed, “Everywhere I travel, I find that people… both leaders and individuals… are asking one basic question.” “‘Does the future hold any hope?’ ‘Yes, through Jesus Christ,’ is my response.’
Following the 1954 Harringay Arena Crusade in London, an elderly preacher approached Billy Graham. The preacher told him, “I’ve come here every night” and listened to a variety of lectures, but “I’ve only heard one message.” It was a compliment, since he, like Billy Graham, understood that only one message could provide true hope to a lost world.
Billy Graham’s message has never, and will never, alter. It’s a simple message, but one that’s based on God’s Word. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only born Son, that whomever believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). (John 3:16, NKJV).
What is the Billy Graham Library?
Billy Graham was opposed to the concept of a library bearing his name until the vision for the Billy Graham Library was presented in these terms. He was adamant about nothing detracting from the message he has preached for over 60 years—a message that points to Christ alone as the only route to God.
When Mr. Graham was told that the Library would be a “Crusade” that would last for generations, he changed his mind. “I changed my view when it was presented as an ongoing ministry and individuals would have the opportunity to be won to Christ,” he stated.
In keeping with Mr. Graham’s wishes, the Gospel and its transforming impact on a life that says yes to Jesus Christ are at the heart of the Library’s experience.
The Library is organised around the themes of “The Man,” “The Message,” “The Ministry,” and “The Mission,” with the message being preeminent: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is located on the same property as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, right off of Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte, N.C. The ministry is spreading its message to the farthest corners of the globe. The Journey of Faith focuses on what God did in the life of a young farm boy who grew up in rural North Carolina, pledged his life to Jesus Christ during a local revival, and became what many consider “America’s pastor” and globe evangelist via God’s grace demonstrated in him.
The Library structure is modelled after a dairy barn, evoking Billy Graham’s origins on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Charlotte, and his boyhood home has been renovated just a short walk from the main Library building. The cross-shaped entryway of the Library serves as a visible reminder to visitors that we can only be reconciled to God through the Cross of Christ.
The tour begins and concludes with multimedia presentations, the first laying the groundwork for what visitors will see in the exhibits and the second reflecting on Billy Graham’s appeal to millions of others in 185 countries.
Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, states, “We are not hoisting up or pointing to Billy Graham.” “We are pointing to Jesus Christ, the Lord.” Throughout the tour, visitors will hear the Gospel and will have the option to respond to it.
The Billy Graham Library is not a museum or a memorial. The Billy Graham Library is a prayerfully planned organisation dedicated to sharing the timeless, life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands of people each year who may never have the opportunity to attend a Crusade.
The Library’s plans were unveiled at the BGEA offices on April 23, 2005, and the groundbreaking ceremony took place in August of same year.
Billy Graham, former Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Bush, as well as a crowd of about 1,500 people, attended the dedication ceremony on Thursday, May 31, 2007.
Billy Graham’s childhood home, built in 1927 on their dairy farm approximately four miles from the Library, is part of the Library complex. It has been lovingly refurbished and is loaded with Graham family photos and personal mementos.
The Library was closed in January 2010 for renovations to improve the sound in numerous places of the tour, as well as to add Billy Graham’s personal library and a bespoke mural created by Thomas Kinkade.
Since its inception, the Library has had over a million visitors.
The Billy Graham Library will strive to inspire visitors by telling the storey of a man who used his God-given abilities to spread God’s love, strength, hope, and kindness to millions of people all over the world. The Library’s ongoing crusade message will be passed down for centuries.
Billy Graham Library Charlotte Location
The Journey of Faith tour takes approximately one and a half hours to complete. To make your visit as meaningful as possible, the last complete tour of the day will begin at 3:30 p.m.
Take Exit 33 — Billy Graham Parkway and follow Billy Graham Parkway/ US-521 approximately four miles. Turn left at the traffic light onto Westmont Drive. Follow Westmont Drive around to the left into the Library entrance.
From I-77 Traveling North
Take Exit 6B — Merge onto Woodlawn/Billy Graham Parkway. Continue to second traffic light. Turn right onto Westmont Drive. Follow the road around to the left into the Library entrance.
From I-77 Traveling South
Take Exit 6B-South Tryon Street. Turn right onto South Tryon Street. Turn right at intersection onto Billy Graham Parkway. Turn right onto Westmont Drive at the light. Follow the road around to the left into the Library entrance.
Take 485 to Exit 1. Turn north (right) onto S. Tryon Street. Follow S. Tryon Street approximately four miles to Billy Graham Parkway. Turn left onto Billy Graham Parkway, and turn right at the first traffic light onto Westmont Drive. Follow the road around to the left into the Library entrance.
Billy Graham Library Charlotte Map