Billy Graham Library
Pastor Billy Graham was a religious advisor to successive U.S. presidents and traveled the world on revivalist missions. The North Carolina pastor became famous after his sermons were broadcast across the U.S. on radio and TV. The Billy Graham library is dedicated to telling his life story in a moving and heart-felt manner.
An animatronics cow and a vintage “Graham Brothers” dairy truck in the lobby remind visitors of the pastor’s rural background. Graham grew up on a dairy farm near the library building, which is shaped like a high-ceilinged barn. An impressive 40-foot (12-meter) giant glass cross takes up most of the front wall. It draws in the sun, flooding the exhibits with natural light.
Take the Journey of Faith self-guided tour to learn about the life of this much-loved reverend. Multimedia presentations, replica revivalist tents, memorabilia and photos from world tours give insight into how far the reverend’s influence has spread. Artifacts include Graham’s writing desk, letters and sermons, and his late wife’s wedding dress. You can also see a small replica of the Berlin Wall, a reminder that Graham preached in East Berlin during the Soviet era.
The life of Ruth Bell Graham, the reverend’s wife, is remembered in an exhibit room and the bookstore. She died in 2007 and is buried in the Memorial Prayer Garden, which you can also tour.
The reverend’s childhood house was rebuilt at the site, using mostly original materials and furnishings. Here, you can enjoy home-style meals and cookies amid vintage milk cans and family photos in the café.
The Billy Graham Library is located near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, a few minutes’ drive southwest of central Charlotte. Admission and parking are free. Note that you aren’t allowed to bring in food or drinks.
The museum is closed on Sundays and major holidays. There are no guided tours, but volunteers can answer any questions. To take it all in, you’ll need about two to three hours.