Billy Graham Center

Papers of William Franklin Jr. "Billy" Graham - Collection 15

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent.
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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

General Historical Background of Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

    Paper Records
    Nonpaper Records
Lists of Audio Tapes, Films, and Photographs in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes
    Digital Recordings
    Oversize Materials
List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Container List)


Brief Description.
Assortment of various documents with a personal connection to Graham, gathered together by the archivist. Includes a scrapbook kept by Graham containing memorabilia from evangelistic meetings he led, correspondence, transcripts of sermons, the program from his funeral service.
Vol: 3 boxes (1.55 cubic feet), Audio Tapes, Film, Photographs

Collection 15
[May 8, 2018]
Graham, William Franklin "Billy," 1918-2018
Papers; 1936-2002, 2018

3 boxes (2 DC, 1 Flat;), Audio tapes, Film, Photographs (1.57 cubic feet)

Brief Description Assortment of various documents with a personal connection to Graham, gathered together by the archivist. Includes a scrapbook kept by Graham containing memorabilia from evangelistic meetings he led, correspondence, transcripts of sermons, the program from his funeral service

The Lausanne Covenant signed by Billy Graham in Oversize Drawer OS24 is closed for preservation reasons. A copy is available for viewing.

Materials in this collection deposited by the BGEA or the Graham Literary rust remain the property of the group that deposited them.  Permission to copy pphotos, auto recordings, or films or quote in published work is necessary from the approriate group.

Forms to be sent to the BGEA or Literary Trust representative should be obtained from the staff in the Reading Room.

Scope and Content

Series: Paper Records
Arrangement: Alphabetical by title. Titles were supplied by the archivist.
Date Range: 1938-1991
Volume: 1.55
Boxes: 1-3
Geographic coverage: United States
Type of documents: Scrapbook, letters, transcripts
Correspondents: Charles Fuller, David H. Johnson
Subjects: Billy Graham's family, his very early days as an evangelist and student at Wheaton College, his communication style, his influence as an Evangelical statesman and as a public figure
Notes: The materials in this collection are miscellaneous personal records of Rev. Billy Graham's which were sent to the Archives from the Montreat office of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). They were part of a number of shipments to the Archives over the years. Items that seemed to have a direct personal connection to Rev. Graham were placed in this collection. Items that had no such direct connection and were not created by the BGEA were placed in Collection 74.

Exceptional items: Of particular interest is a scrapbook kept by Graham during his attendance at Florida Bible Institute and Wheaton College and of miscellaneous materials he stored inside the back cover. Taped in the scrapbook are articles, programs, photos, and other memorabilia of services at which Dr. Graham preached. Also taped in the book is a newspaper article on and a photograph of his class (1940) at the Institute, and a photograph of Ponzi Parrington, who served as Billy Graham's songleader. In the back of the scrapbook were stored Graham's diploma from the Institute, programs for activities he was involved in while attending Wheaton (except for one program for a 1936 production of Macbeth at Bob Jones College, in which Graham had a minor part), handbills for his evangelistic services, newspapers, a few pages of correspondence, and typewritten sermons, possibly by Graham. To preserve the original order of the scrapbook, the leaves of the book which had items taped on to them were encapsulated between mylar plastic sheets. The loose items have been foldered (folders 1-2 through 1-14). Folder 1-3 includes an August 1941 letter from V. Raymond Edman, president of Wheaton College, concerning Graham becoming the preacher at the Union Gospel Tabernacle in Wheaton.

Folder 3-5 contains a certified copy of a 1942 licence for a wedding Graham performed in Indiana, one of his first.

Folder 2-7 has the program for the 1947 funeral service of William Bell Riley, a mentor of Graham’s.

When Graham appeared on the TV show This if Your Life in 1957, Crest Toothpaste as a present to him paid to sponsor ten orphans at World Vision’s Korean orphanages. Folder 2-6 contains a notebook about the individual orphans that were sponsored and also contains letters and other information on them.

Folder 3-4 contains transcripts of sermons and talks by Graham: from the 1972 Charlotte Crusade (the university of life); the Denver Crusade of 1987 (forgiveness, loneliness), the Rochester Crusade of 1988 (Hope), the Capital City Crusade of 1990 (conversion), and the Scotland Crusade of 1991 (the offense of the cross). Also in the folder is the speech he gave at the 1976 bicentennial of the so-called Meckleburg Declaration of Independence. Some of the transcripts list no author and may not be by Graham.

Graham was probably the person most influential in bringing together the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization, which met in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974. Oversize drawer 24 contains his personally signed copy of the Lausanne Covenant, dated July 26, 1974.

Folder 3-3 contains the transcript of Graham’s remarks at the 1981 funeral of his mother, Morrow Coffey Graham, and the program of the service. Besides describing her character, he also talks about his childhood.

Folder 2-3 contains a variety of miscellaneous letters gathered from various sources: two photocopies of letters (1950 and 1958) to Ray Schulenberg about the possibility of an evangelistic meetings in Moline and Chicago, Illinois; correspondence just after the 1957 New York Crusade in which Graham discusses his policy of cooperating with churches in his evangelistic meetings, as long as they placed no restrictions on his message; Graham’s 1962 response to a condolence note on the death of his father; a letter to Fuller Seminary president Richard Mouw agreeing to serve on an anniversary committee for the seminary; drafts of the letter Graham wrote to the planners of the Moscow anti-nuclear weapons conference which he attended in 1982; a 2002 photocopy of a letter to Wheaton College, commending the humanitarian work of the rock musical Bono.

There is a good deal of correspondence with evangelist Charles Fuller in folder 2-4. All the materials in this folder are photocopies of documents sent to the Archives by the archives of Fuller Theological Seminary. The letters include Graham asking for help with the starting of the magazine Christianity Today, his responses to requests for help from Fuller with Fuller Seminary, and their comments on and participation in each other’s ministry. .

Folder 3-1 contains some of the telegrams Graham sent his wife Ruth during the early days of his ministry, describing his various meetings. There are also a few telegrams from 1968 from friends and co-workers, celebrating his birthday

Some of the items reflect Ruth Graham’s participation in her husband’s ministry. Folder 2-2 contains a copy of Graham’s 1953 book Peace With God with her handwritten notes, apparently in preparation for a possible revision of the book. Folder 2-8 contains a script of the movie The Hiding Place, with a few handwritten notes and suggestions by her.

Folder 3-2 contains a 1987 notebook with a proposal for what became the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. The proposal outlined the methods and purpose of the training center, which was to train laypeople in Bible study and evangelism.

Folder 3-6 contains the program for Graham's funeral service and related materials as well as a book of condolences from international students at Wheaton College who had received scholarships through the Billy Graham Center.

Series: Nonpaper Records
Arrangement: Chronological
Date Range: 1943-1981
Geographic coverage: United States, Taiwan
Type of documents: Audio tapes of speeches, home movies (?), photographs
Subjects: Billy Graham's family life and his evangelistic ministry
Notes: Items are described fully in their individual location records


The material in this collection received from the BGEA and other sources between 1975 and 2000.

Accession 75-16, 81-92, 86-3, 86-69, 92-24, 97-3, 97-57, 97-69, 98-13, 00-07, 06-13, 02-73, 06-24

June 3, 1976
Robert Shuster

Updated June 22, 2001
Robert Shuster

Acc.: 06-13
Updated: May 16, 2006
Bob Shuster

Acc. 02-73, 06-24
Updates: January 26, 2010
Bob Shuster

Acc. 11-13
Updated: March 3, 2011
Bob Shuster

Acc. 18-17, 18-18
Updated May 8, 2018
Bob Shuster

Accession: 81-92, 86-3
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE file.

T1 - Cassette. Recording of a visit of Billy Graham to Chiang Kai-shek's tomb in Taiwan. Tape consists of his prayer by the tomb, in which he describes Chiang's impact on China and his Christian faith. 3 minutes. October 26, 1975. See folder 3-4 for transcript of the sermon.

T2 - Reel, 7 ips, 1 side. 13 minutes. Message from Billy Graham to those attending the Consultation on World Evangelization (COWE) sponsored by the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization and held in Pattaya, Thailand, June 16-27, 1980. Graham explains why he will be unable to attend and gives his thoughts on the priorities in world evangelization.

T3 - Cassette. Memorial service for Billy Graham's mother, Morrow Coffey Graham. A transcript of Billy Graham's comments is in folder 3-3. August 16, 1981.

Accession: 08-38


Type of File

Length in min

Format of original






16mm film

Digitized version of several silent, color movies of Billy Graham and family in Montreat and Black Mountain, NC. Films show Billy Graham and T. W. Wilson meeting with a large group of people, scenes of various family members relaxing together at the home of Billy and Ruth Graham in Montreat, including Stephan and Virginia Graham Tchividjian and their children, Franklin Graham, Ned Graham; pictures of Russ Busby photographing various family members, various views, including aerial views of the Graham home and surrounding countryside, much footage of driving along the streets and back roads of Black Mountain and the surrounding area, scenes of the Grahams apparently going to church, scenes of an unidentified man (not BG) playing a few holes at the Black Mountain Golf club, scenes of Billy and Ruth Graham posing for pictures around their home.

Ca. 1966

Accession: 86-3
Type of Material: Films

The following items are located in the FILM file.

F1 - Color 16mm home movie of scenes from the 1951 Christ for Hollywood meetings at the Hollywood Bowl. The film is less than two minutes long. It shows the marquee outside the Bowl, Cliff Barrows leading the choir, and the crowd dispersing at the end of the service.

Accession: 86-3
Type of material: Oversize Materials
The following items are in the OVERSIZE FILE. Request by collection number and folder location (in parentheses).

Restricted: LAUSANNE COVENANT (OS14): Printed copy of the Covenant which came out of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization, held in Lausanne Switzerland. This was Graham’s own copy, signed by him and dated July 26, 1974. There is no other annotation on the document. Black and white, printed on one side and blank on the other. 14" x 22" Because of fading ink on the document, the original document is not available to researchers although a copy can be viewed.

Type of material: Photographs

The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE; request by folder title (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below.

COVENT, ARTHUR (OVERSIZE). Matted portrait photo, autographed to Billy Graham. B&w. N.d.

GRAHAM, WILLIAM FRANKLIN JR. (OVERSIZE). Matted photo of Billy Graham with Paul Dietzel and William Murray in Montreat, North Carolina, in August 1969. He is holding the Tuss McLaughry Award, which he had received in January of the same year. Matted 3-D portrait photo of Graham. Matted photo of Billy and Ruth Graham with Richard and Pat Nixon, probably at the White House. Artwork including photograph for an advertisement for the 1976 Bicentennial of Faith. Matted photo of Graham with Archbishop Borders and Mayor Schaefer at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast in Baltimore, Maryland. Several matted portrait photos of graham. 3 color, 6 b&w. 1969-1981; n.d.

GRAHAM, WILLIAM F AND RUTH BELL. Pictures of their wedding, as members of the bridal party at a friend's wedding, at Wheaton College during their senior year, other pictures of them together after their marriage. Ca. 1943-1950. 11 b&w, 1 color.

STAM, JOHN AND BETTY. Small snapshot of Helen Priscilla Stay autographed by her on the back for Ruth Graham. 1937. 1 b&w.

Box Folder Description
1 1 Scrapbook
1 2 Clippings, n.d., c.a. 1940
1 3 Correspondence, 1939-1945, n.d.
1 4 Daily Journal, September 13, 1941
1 5 Florida Bible Institute Diploma; May, 1940
1 6 Handbills, n.d.; c.a. 1939-1943
1 7 Park Ridge Herald, January 16, 1942
1 8 Photographs, n.d.; c.a. 1938-1943
1 9 Programs, 1940-42
1 10 The Secret Of Christian Joy by Vance Havner, n.d.
1 11 Sermons, n.d.
1 12 St. Petersburg Times, July 12, 1941
1 13 Wheaton Record, September 1941-March 1942
1 14 World Wide Christian Conservative, September 17, 1943
2 1 Birthday Party Materials; 1978, 1983
2 2 Book: Peace With God (Annotated), 1953, 1983
2 3 Correspondence
2 3 1950-2002
2 4 Fuller, Charles; 1956-1966
2 5 Miscellaneous; 1963-1964
2 6 Notebook: This is Your Life/Korean Orphans; 1956-1958
2 7 Program: William Bell Riley Funeral; 1947
2 8 Script: The Hiding Place; 1973
3 1 Telegrams; 1945-1950, 1968
3 2 Training Center Proposal; 1987
3 3 Transcript: Morrow Coffey Graham Funeral Service; 1981
3 4 Transcripts: Sermons and Speeches; 1972-1991; n.d.
3 5 Wedding Certificate; 1942
3 6 Funeral materials; 2018

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