MONTREAT, N.C., Nov. 15, 2016—Cliff Barrows was one of the closest friends my wife Ruth and I ever had. Along with his wife Billie, and Grady Wilson and George Beverly Shea, our original team was just like a family as we traveled and worked together.
Cliff directed all the music and programming of our meetings, and our television and radio. Sometimes he could just step up and preach a lot better sermon than me because God gave him the gift—not only of organization and music, but also of preaching and teaching. We have a little conference center near my home where I would go to hear him when he was there, and he certainly was a powerful speaker.
Cliff and I were together more than 60 years, and in all that time we never had an argument. We had a few disagreements, but I can’t even remember those. It’s been a wonderful fellowship in our whole organization. There wouldn’t be a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in the way it is today without him. He was used of the Lord more than anyone else to keep us together with his strength, energy, devotion and love for the Lord.
Cliff set an example and was a role model of what a Christian ought to be. His contribution to my ministry cannot be measured in human terms. He is the fifth member of our original team to be called to heaven—along with his wife Billie, my wife Ruth, Grady Wilson and George Beverly Shea. The BGEA family is going to miss him as one of the spiritual leaders of our organization, but we are looking forward to that glorious day when we will all be together again.