Hey there Campers;
Today is a great day to venture out to the Billy Graham Library. Now, this is not your typical library to a great person. It is all about making sure you are one with the Lord. Now that was refreshing.
When you pull up to the gate you are met by a smiling person who lets you know that there is no charge to get in. You are given a parking pass that has a donation card inside so can give as you see fit. Or not.
What person is going to turn Billy Graham down??
William "Billy" Franklin Graham, Jr was born November 7, 1918 in Charlotte, NC. He lived on a dairy farm.
The tour starts at the Graham house. This house was originally 4 miles up the road and they torn it apart board by board to relocated it to the BG Library. He lived in this house from age 9 until college. It cost his dad, who was a dairy farmer $9,000 to build this 2,400 sq ft. home. Remember this would have been in 1927. That was a lot of money back then. All the kids cared about was the fact in had indoor plumbing. I know this may not sound like a big deal to us today, but you try going to the bathroom for one day outside. I think having that bath and running water makes my day. Yahoooo. Thank God my folks left the country before having me!
It is really impressive when you first drive in as the first thing you see is a barn with a huge cross in it. The cross is really a part of the barn. Inside you start the library tour with the talking cow Bessie. She has a black southern twang. Ok, that was weird. But I guess it represents the years he was on the dairy farm.
He was raised in a strict Presbyterian home. He was the oldest of four kids. He was brought to the Lord when he was 16 years old by the Evangelist Mordecai Ham. He went to Florida Bible Institute and Wheaton College where he met his future wife Ruth Bell. She and her family were missionaries in China. Ruth had a profound effect on Billy's life.
Billy pastored a church in Illinois, was involved with the Youth for Christ group and President of christian school called Northwestern schools. All this was preparing him for his greatest work of being a Evangelist. Did you know the Billy did not want to be called "an Evangelist"? I know you are dying to know why. Well, he felt he was not an Evangelist because all he wanted to do was preach God's word. He was finally told what the word Evangelist really meant. It means herald. He had to stop and ponder this. From that day forward he was grateful to be called an Evangelist.
Here are some Billy G facts:
- In 1949 a group called Christ for Greater Los Angeles invited Billy to preach at their revival.
- At the urging of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, papers around the nation covered the revival
- Spoke out against the evils of Communism.
- Advent of nuclear people turned to spiritual counsel and they felt comfort in Billy.
- Billy on radio show and word of the revival spread and the revival was extent 5 additional weeks.
- Billy made evangelism enticing, non-threatening, and easy.
- Media makes Billy message accessible to all.
- Billy starts the Billy Graham Evangelical Association (BGEA) to expand and maintain a professional ministry.
- Had a TV ministry that lasted 3 years.
- Has numerous international offices, published books, tapes films and periodicals.
- Has volunteers around the world who scout cities to reserve a venue, organize choirs and arrange speakers. This is done so Billy can just concentrate on the sermon.
- At the end of each crusade new believers commit to Christ and meet with volunteer counselors, given workbooks for at home bible study and referred to a local evangelist pastor. Hello churches this is the way getting believers in should be done.
Did you know that Billy G has been friends with and counseled every President since Harry S. Truman. That is 11 presidents. Talk about faith. He also has been friends with lots of foreign leaders.
One of Billy's favorite people was the christian singer George Beverly Shea. You could not go to a crusade without hearing George sing. He wrote a lot of his own music. He was called America Beloved Gospel Singer even though he was Canadian by birth. Sadly he died last year. But he is buried at the library. I still remember my mother playing a record of his which was "I'd Rather Have Jesus". (Yes Kido. The big vinyl thing was a RECORD not a big CD.)
Billy knew he needed to surround himself with good people to mentor him so he could focus and stay on track for the Lord. One day he was asked who was the best christian he knew. He stated immediately that it was his wife Ruth.
There are 17 rooms to see in this library. As you walk through the final interactive room, this is called the Just As I Am: Hour of Decision, the door opens and you see a huge lit cross and a Thomas Kinkade mural of the cross. It really makes you stop and think about how you can make a difference in your life and others.
This museum is definitely a must see if you come to Charlotte.
Question of the Day:
What is the name of the Billy Graham magazine?
Until next time Campers
Lo & Bren