Family, friends, and former presidents will be among the guests joining Billy Graham in Charlotte to help dedicate the new Billy Graham Library May 31 at 2 p.m.
The 40,000-square-foot Library depicts the life of evangelist Billy Graham and rather than simply serving as a memorial, is designed to inspire visitors as part of the ongoing outreach of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). Located on the grounds of the organization’s international headquarters, the Library’s entrance is designed to resemble a barn, recalling Graham’s childhood on the family dairy farm in Charlotte. It will house six exhibits, four galleries, and two theaters, covering the span of Graham’s lifetime work on six continents speaking to more than 210 million people. The Library will also be the repository for Graham’s personal papers, including his correspondence and sermon manuscripts.
Some 1,400 invited guests, including family, friends, longtime supporters, and dignitaries, will attend a dedication ceremony. President George H.W. Bush will deliver the keynote address. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will also take part in the ceremony.
Entering through a 40-foot glass cross built into the front of the building, visitors to the Billy Graham Library can take a self-guided 90-minute tour that includes multimedia displays, rare film footage, and more than 350 photographs. The Library tour offers a look at Graham’s historic evangelistic events, his innovative use of radio, television, and films to reach out to millions of people around the world, meetings with presidents and world leaders, his work for racial equality and religious freedom, and a glimpse into his personal life. Visitors can also see an exhibit on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association today – reflecting the global ongoing work and expansion of the ministry. The innovative, family-friendly Billy Graham Library also includes a restaurant, bookstore, and a tour of the original Graham Family Homeplace where Billy Graham lived when he was a teenager.
The purpose of the Library is to serve as an extension of the evangelistic ministry of the BGEA and continue the legacy it has had for 60 years of delivering the simple message of God’s love and forgiveness to people around the world.
The Billy Graham Library is expected to open to the public June 5. Admission will be free. It is located at 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201