Billy Graham exhibit showcases the life of North Carolina’s ‘Favorite Son’

A 5,000-square-foot exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History tells the story of a humble North Carolina farm boy who grew up to preach live to more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries. Billy Graham preached to many millions more over the radio, television, in film and online.

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On June 1, 1973, more than 1.1 million people attended Graham’s crusade held in the Yoido Plaza in Seoul, South Korea. Photo courtesy of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

The exhibit, “North Carolina’s Favorite Son: Billy Graham and His Remarkable Journey of Faith,” features personal memorabilia, interactive displays and multimedia. The exhibit title is from the 2013 resolution passed by the N.C. General Assembly honoring the life of Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, and naming Graham “North Carolina’s Favorite Son.”

Visitors walk through Graham’s life story, beginning with his childhood growing up on a Charlotte dairy farm, through his early radio days of preaching the Gospel, to his worldwide reach that has touched so many lives. His influence on national and world events, such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War, are showcased through images, audio and video displays.

The seven-section exhibit traces Graham’s early life and ministry, from his childhood to his spiritual awakening and worldwide journey. It includes a look at his 12 N.C. crusades, as well as other events held in Los Angeles, London, New York City and South Africa. Personal items include the American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in honor of Ruth and Billy Graham’s 50th wedding anniversary; the miniature dictation machine Graham used to prepare sermons; and the tuxedo he wore when knighted at the British Embassy in 2001.

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Photo courtesy of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

The exhibit’s photographs feature large murals depicting the attendance at crusades held around the world. Other images highlight his family life, personal moments and meetings with presidents, as well as other national and world leaders.

“Billy Graham, a native son of North Carolina, is known for his positive impact in our state and around the world,” said Ken Howard, director of the N.C. Museum of History. “The museum is proud to present his life story in this major exhibit…”

The exhibit is privately funded, developed and produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The free exhibit runs through July 10, 2016.

To learn more, visit ncmuseumofhistory.org

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Comments (1)

  • John C. Miller

    John C. Miller

    29 April 2016 at 12:32

    I worked at Dr. Graham's crusade at the Greensboro Coliseum. His organization was amazing for their dedication and efficiency, they would make any corporate board proud. The money rolled in as well. A Christian friend of mine felt he was called to preach after hearing Graham as I guess anyone might be moved. When the star of the show stepped up to speak the crowd hushed. His contacts included every protestant church in the region and hundreds of believers responded to work as ushers and assist respondents going down to pray. The first wave of people to prime the pump were those volunteers then the shy inquirers followed. Grahams process included local volunteers inviting respondents to their churches.
    An inspiring leader in the Gospel work; Billy was a very fundamentalist believer taking every Bible verse as fact, even the theology of Satan and his fallen angels effecting everything mankind was trying to do. What he spoke and wrote became the truth for thousands who after a crusade took great interest in Bible study and church. The heart of his every crusade was the calling hymn, "Just as I am" and the flood of people moving down to the foot of his podium.

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