The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina is constructed to show the life journey of Billy Graham starting from being a humble farm boy until he becomes the ambassador of God's love internationally. The Billy Graham Library is located a few miles away from where he grew up and the barn-shape building has a total of 40,000-square-foot area. Here, you can uncover the life and legacy of great America's Pastor and one of the most important and influential people of the 20th century. The historical points and moments of his and his wife's, Ruth Bell Graham, life is shown using memorabilia, advanced exhibits that use different multimedia, films, artifacts, pictures, as well as voices of Graham's ministry.
History of the Billy Graham Library
On the 23rd of April, 2005, the BGEA headquarters announced the plans and construction of the Library and in the following months, the Library's groundbreaking ceremony was held. Moreover, on the 31st of May, 2007 1,500 people, Billy Graham, and former President Bush, Carter, and Clinton attended the Billy Graham Library's dedication ceremony but it was on June 5, 2007 that the Library was opened to the public. The compound also includes the childhood home of Billy Graham which was built in 1927. Since then, the home has been restored and filled with personal items and family photos of the Grahams. The Billy Graham Library was renovated in January 2010. The renovation was made to upgrade tour areas and the sound system of the place. Also, to install Thomas Kinkade's custom mural paint and they also added the personal library of Billy Graham in the building.
Billy Graham's wife, Ruth Graham, was buried in the Prayer Garden on June 17, 2007 despite her initial disagreement on being buried in the library since she prefers to be buried at the Billy Graham Training Center that is located at the Cove. Furthermore, Billy Graham was buried next to his wife in the Prayer Garden on March 2, 2018. Not only their remains were interred on the Library grounds but also of Cliff Barrows and his wife as well as the remains of George Beverly Shea. Cliff Barrows was Billy Graham's Music Director and George Beverly Shea is Billy Graham's regular soloist and a Gospel singer.
What to expect in Billy Graham Library
Since it is more than just a library, visitors can fully enjoy the two theaters that show the service and ministry of Billy Graham, four worldwide memorabilia galleries, and six exhibits. Aside from the Library tour, there is also the original home of Billy Graham where he spent and lived his childhood life. Additionally, the Library's Prayer Garden is also open to the public which serves as the memorial place of Billy Graham and Ruth Graham.
Visitors can also experience and enjoy meals at Graham Brothers Dairy Bar and visit the gift shop at Ruth's Attic bookstore. Mementos, Bibles, biographies, written books of the Graham, apparels, gifts, music, and DVD are also available in Ruth's Attic. There are also special events that are annually held in the Library such as the yearly birthday celebration of Billy Graham in November, Christmas event that takes place from the 1st to the 23rd of December, Ladies Tea and Tour event during April, and celebrity authors book signing. Some of the previous famous authors that had their book signing in the Library include Sarah Palin and Joe Gibbs.