Billy Graham Library
Charlotte, North Carolina
More than 1 million visitors have now walked through the large, cross-shaped entrance to the Billy Graham Library for an interactive multimedia tour through his life and ministry.
The self-guided Journey of Faith covers more than 70 years of Graham’s history, from preaching to his cows as a young man on a North Carolina dairy farm to reaching millions across the world.
“It’s a good mix of world history, U.S. history and the personal lives of the Grahams,” said Sonya Johnson, spokeswoman for the library. “People really enjoy seeing their personal effects.”
Visitors especially like hearing about Graham’s relationship with his late wife, Ruth. Her hand-stitched wedding dress and veil, her personal Bible and an especially sweet note from Graham are favorites. Each piece of memorabilia serves as a launching pad for a great story. A pair of handguns on display tell the story of New York gang members who turned their guns in and gave their lives to Christ at a crusade. Graham’s decision card shows his early devotion to the Lord.
After touring the library, groups can visit Graham’s boyhood home, which was moved from its original spot and restored on the library grounds. Since Graham family members volunteer from time to time, visitors sometimes get firsthand stories.
The most peaceful spot on the grounds is the memorial prayer garden beside the burial sites for Ruth Graham and other members of the early crusades. “What I’ve heard is that people get a real sense of peace on the property,” Johnson said.
Special for Groups
Regular admission is free, but exclusive guided tours are available for groups. Guides delve deeper into Graham’s history, and a special tour of his boyhood home and the headquarters for his ministry is included. The $11 tour also includes lunch at the Graham Brothers’ Dairy Bar, a playful nod to the pastor’s roots. For groups that choose the self-guided option, the grounds are designed to give space for rest and reflection. There’s seating throughout the Journey of Faith, as well as porch-front rockers and benches in the prayer garden.
As Charlotte, North Carolina, is Graham’s hometown, groups can head from the library to 12 more historic spots from his life, including the church where he first preached. Many groups also like to catch dinner at NarroWay Theatre in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The Christian dinner theater features large-scale original shows with themed meals to match.