Charlotte & More
Explore The Billy Graham Library
When Franklin Graham first approached his father, world-famous evangelist and North Carolinian Billy Graham, with the idea of building what eventually became the $27-million Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, the preacher was apprehensive. He didn’t see the use for a presidential-style museum that would focus on his life. Franklin assured him that it would become a tool for drawing people to hear the gospel. And Billy Graham finally agreed.
The Billy Graham Library opened in Charlotte on June 5th and tells the story of Dr. Graham through historic displays and multimedia presentations. The doors of the Library form the stem of a 40-foot-tall cross. The front of the building looks like a barn, representing the farm where Graham grew up. An animatronic cow named Bessie, in honor of Graham’s childhood menagerie, guides kids through the children’s exhibit.
Graham’s preaching booms throughout the Library, in exhibits that represent various time periods of his life. Graham is featured on black & white TV’s displayed in an old shop window, heard in a replica of the radio booth where he gave his radio show, “Hour of Decision” in the 1950s, and shown next to a replica of a portion of the Berlin Wall where he spoke in the 70s and 80s. Additionally, screening theaters show other milestones in Graham’s lifelong crusade.
Ruth Bell Graham, Dr. Graham’s wife of 64 years and an author and poet in her own right, is buried at the foot of a cross-shaped walkway in the Library’s Prayer Garden. The Library’s bookstore, Ruth’s Attic, was named in her honor. Here you can peruse unique gifts and Christian literature.
Grab a bite to eat at the Library’s rustic café, relax and reflect on what you have seen at this unique and daring tribute to one of the most influential men in history.
In 2010, the Library displayed additional artifacts from Billy Graham's personal estate, including thousands of books, his desk and chair, a Bible he used for preparing sermons and one of his briefcases. New video presentations and a 15-by-31 foot mural called "The Cross" by artist Thomas Kinkade were also unveiled.
When to go:
9:30 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday
How to get there:
The Library is located on Westmont Drive directly off Billy Graham Parkway, accessible from I-77 or I-85 in Charlotte
added: December 30, 2008
updated: September 28, 2010