The Billy Graham Library: From the Presidents ...
July 1, 2007 - Comments from the presidents:
President George H.W. Bush
We gather to celebrate the life and the accomplishments of a man who I do believe is America’s pastor. A man who has been a constant radiant of light, a light of truth in a world often cloaked in darkness and shrouded in deceit.
... The moral awakening that Billy helped to ignite starting here in America, which then spread like a wildfire across the country, and ultimately, as you will see inside [the Library], around the entire world, was also the same spark that ignited hope and kept its embers burning in faraway places behind an Iron Curtain. And with the coalition of free nations that stood together in the face of this geopolitical threat, so, too, was there a brotherhood of great spiritual leaders, including our honoree. ... No question these men, together with other messengers who carried forth the Word, helped [to keep] the balance in the Cold War in freedom’s favor.
I’ve always viewed my faith as a personal matter, an intensely personal matter. And that’s just the way I’m wired. That’s just me. There is nothing self-conscious, however, about my relationship with Jesus Christ. And thanks to Billy I’ve come to understand this all-important relationship in deeper and more meaningful ways.
... At a Billy Graham Crusade ... I’ve been privileged to witness and see the Christlike way he invites persons of every faith to come together in prayer, and so we’re gathered here today because Billy Graham, the man, the preacher, the humble farmer’s son who helped change the world, is a spiritual gift to all of us. He’s a blessing, and today we not only celebrate his life’s inspiring work in carrying the Gospel to billions around the world, we also give thanks to a loving God for the example that Ruth and he have set with their singular lives.
President Jimmy Carter
On one interview I had with Fox Television. ... The question was [asked], “Who has been most influential in your spiritual life?” And my response ... [was] “Billy Graham. He was constantly broad-minded, forgiving, humble in his treatment of others. He has reached out equally for opportunities to serve God [and] all people, black or white, American or foreign, man or woman.”
Well, my testimony today is that I’m just one of tens of millions of people whose spiritual lives have been shaped by Billy Graham.
President Bill Clinton
I am here because of the public Billy Graham and the private Billy Graham.
In the Scripture Jesus tells us that the most important commandment is to love God with all our heart, and then He said that the second is “Like unto it, to love your neighbor as yourself.” I have seen [Billy Graham] do that in private when no one was looking. Every president, truth be told, is mostly grateful to him because of that personal kindness. When he prays with you in the Oval Office or the upstairs of the White House, you feel that he’s praying for you, not the president.