Billy Graham Library Brings Inspiration to Guests

08/25/2018  | 
Travel USA
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On February 21, 2018, Rev. Billy Graham passed from this world into eternity. While his personal ministry was completed, his legacy of sharing the Gospel continues through the Billy Graham Library.

Reminiscent of Billy Graham’s upbringing on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Charlotte, the Billy Graham Library building is styled after a dairy barn, and his restored boyhood home is just a short walk from the main Library building. The entrance to the Library is in the shape of a cross, a visual reminder to visitors that it is only through the Cross of Christ that we can enter into a relationship with God.

Built on the same property as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, right off of Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte, N.C., the Library is organized around the themes of “The Man,” “The Message,” “The Ministry,” and “The Mission” with the message being predominant: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Library houses an interactive tour, called The Journey of Faith, which focuses on what God did in the life of a young farm boy who grew up in rural North Carolina. Graham committed his life to Jesus Christ at a local revival and became what many consider “America’s pastor” and evangelist to the world.

The tour begins and ends with multimedia presentations, the first to lay a foundation for what guests will encounter in the exhibits and, at the end, another to consider the same evangelistic call Billy Graham has extended to millions of others in 185 countries.

“We are not lifting up or pointing to Billy Graham,” says son Franklin Graham. “We are pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ.” Throughout the tour, visitors hear the Gospel presented and have opportunity to respond to the message.

The Billy Graham Library is not a memorial, nor is it a museum. The Billy Graham Library is a ministry, prayerfully planned with the intention of communicating the unchanging, life-giving message of Jesus Christ to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year who may never attend a Crusade.

Fall is a wonderful time of year at the Billy Graham Library as the beauty of the changing season can be seen on the grounds. Visitors have the opportunity to reflect in the memorial prayer garden, where Billy Graham, his late wife Ruth Bell Graham, gospel music legend George Beverly Shea, and longtime Billy Graham Crusade music director Cliff Barrows, are buried.

During their visit, guests can enjoy a delicious meal at the Graham Brothers Dairy Bar, which features Mother Graham’s chicken salad, the “Billy Frank” hot dog, fresh salads, soups, specialty coffee, cookies and homemade pound cake. Ruth’s Attic bookstore offers a variety of Bibles, books authored by Graham family members, biographies, classic sermons on DVD, music, apparel and unique gifts. Active-duty service members with their military ID or in uniform receive a 10-percent discount on all purchases in both the bookstore and the dairy bar.

It’s not too soon to start making your holiday plans. Mark your calendar now for the annual Christmas at the Library Celebration. The event, which runs from Nov. 29-Dec. 22, has been voted a Top 100 Event in the U.S. seven times by the American Bus Association and draws more than 40,000 visitors each year from across the Southeast and around the world. Admission and parking are free.

Complete with a live Nativity, guests to the Library can also enjoy holiday favorites including horse-drawn carriage rides through one of Charlotte’s most beautiful light displays, the heartwarming sounds of caroling and festive music, story time for children of all ages, holiday goodies, exclusive Library ornaments, and holiday shopping. A special Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings is also offered (check www.billygrahamlibrary.org/christmas-at-the-library for dates, times, and pricing).

More than 1.2 million people from around the world have visited the Library since its opening in 2007. After touring the galleries and exhibits, one visitor stated, “I appreciate how many times we were reminded this was about God and not Billy — although we appreciate everything he did and his work.” And another commented, “Love the heart and message that is echoed in the experience. It’s great to know that Jesus is at the center of it all.”

As Billy Graham once said, “It is now, and has always been about Jesus.”

The Billy Graham Library will endeavor to bring inspiration to its guests through the story of a man who used his God-given potential to bring God’s love, strength, hope and kindness to millions of people around the world. This enduring message of the Library will continue for generations to come.

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