5th Anniversary of Billy Graham Library
More than 600,000 Have Visited the "Ongoing Crusade"
June 5, 2012 - The Billy Graham Library, which has drawn more than 600,000 visitors to its property in Charlotte, N.C., celebrates its fifth anniversary on Tuesday.
"That’s the comment we hear the most — ‘It’s so peaceful here.' You can feel it the moment you enter the property."
— Debra Cordial, Library director
By Trevor Freeze
All it takes is one visit to the property. One trip through the Journey of Faith.
One stroll down the flower-lined brick walkways to feel it.
When visitors come to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., for the first time, the feedback left is almost as predictable as the soul-nourishing hymn music that seems to echo from the neatly manicured landscaping.
“That’s the comment we hear the most — ‘It’s so peaceful here,' ” said Debra Cordial, director of the Billy Graham Library, voted No. 1 attraction in Charlotte by Tripadvisor.com. “You can feel it the moment you enter the property.
“In this day and age, peace is what many are searching for and it’s found in Christ.”
More than 600,000 people have experienced the peace and tranquility since the Billy Graham Library opened on June 5, 2007.
Today marks the fifth Anniversary of the Billy Graham Library’s opening and to celebrate the Birthday Bash, guests will be given a piece of cake starting at 10 a.m., along with a special commemorative gift while supplies last.
For Cordial, it’s also a chance to look back and see how God’s love has impacted so many people, simply through the recounting of Billy Graham’s humble ministry.
“Eternal life,” Cordial said. “Not temporary hope or a temporary fix, but eternal hope, eternal joy, eternal life. This is what the Billy Graham Library has offered to every guest who has visited over the last five years.
“And we’ve had the joy of seeing thousands make decisions for Christ.”
The Billy Graham Library, while featuring a bookstore and parts of Billy Graham’s personal library collection on display, is as much a museum as it is a library, filled with thousands of memorabilia pieces, including pictures and videos.
Guests can also visit the grave site of Billy Graham’s late wife, Ruth Bell Graham, as well as tour Billy Graham’s childhood home, transported brick by brick to the Library site.
“It’s rewarding to see the faces of those who visit for the first time,” Cordial said. “And see the peace and joy they feel being on the property.”
Here are some of the highlights of the Billy Graham Library from the past five years.
Preparing for the opening: A month before its opening, Franklin Graham talks about the purpose of The Billy Graham Library.
3 Former Presidents at Library Dedication: Former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton took part in the May 31 dedication of the Library.
Passing of Ruth Bell Graham: Billy Graham's late wife went to be with the Lord at age 87 on June 14. She is buried at the Prayer Garden adjacent the Library.
Billy Graham's 90th Birthday Celebration: Nearly 2,000 people flooded the Library over a two-day period to join birthday festivities surrounding Mr. Graham's 90th birthday.
Bikers With Boxes: The first annual Bikers with Boxes event, despite the temperature barely hitting 30 degrees on Nov. 22, brought out more than 200 motorcyclists and nearly 1,000 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
Ruth Bell Graham Exhibit: The Library honors the woman Billy Graham referred to as his most trusted advisor with a three-month exhibition from June-August.
Grand Re-Opening: The Library opens to the public in April after three months of renovations and upgrading.
Al Gore Visits: Shortly after re-opening, the Library welcomes former Vice President Al Gore, who talked with Frankin Graham during his visit.
Bush Book Signing: Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush signed copies of their respective memoirs, Decision Points and Spoken From the Heart on Dec. 20.
Sower Statue: Parable of the Sower statue, an 8-foot bronze sculpture created by Tom White, was unveiled on April 19.
Zamperini's 'Unbroken' Testimony: Lining up by the hundreds, fans of all ages came to the Library in June to meet World War II hero and former Olympian Louis Zamperini, subject of the best-selling book "Unbroken."
Christmas at the Library: Celebrating with a live nativity scene and a chorus of carolers, the Fourth Annual Christmas at the Library drew more than 1,100 people on its opening night, Dec. 1.
Easter Celebration: Completely booked within two weeks of opening registration, the Library's first Easter Celebration pointed children to the true meaning of the holiday.
Ladies Tea and Tour: Cissie Graham Lynch, the granddaughter of Billy Graham, daughter of Franklin Graham and wife of NFL player Corey Lynch, spoke at the Fifth Annual Ladies Tea and Tour in April.
Support a Legacy Please help us continue the living witness of the Billy Graham Library. Donate online today to ensure Mr. Graham's legacy will touch the hearts of visitors for years to come.
Support a Legacy
Please help us continue the living witness of the Billy Graham Library. Donate online today to ensure Mr. Graham's legacy will touch the hearts of visitors for years to come.