See Billy Graham letters, sermon notes, crusade videos when archives move to Charlotte

Billy Graham’s archived letters, sermon notes and footage of crusades are moving to the late evangelist’s hometown of Charlotte, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Graham’s papers, along with the Charlotte-based association’s historic records, will be transferred in June from their decades-old perch at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Illinois, association officials said.

Rev. Billy Graham speaks during his crusade at USC Stadium in 1950. Charlotte Observer file photo

“This is part of our continuing consolidation in Billy Graham’s hometown,” son Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said in a news release by the association.

Franklin Graham on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library this week. Tim Funk

“Some 214,000 people visited the Billy Graham Library here in Charlotte last year alone, and it makes sense for my father’s archives to be housed and maintained here for visiting scholars to conduct research, and for our guests to see when they come visit our ministry headquarters, the Library and my parents’ gravesites,” Franklin Graham said.

billy grave
A simple etched fieldstone marks the grave of the Charlotte-born evangelist at the Billy Graham Libary. Billy Graham Library

Billy Graham, known as “America’s pastor,” died on Feb. 21, 2018, at his home in Montreat. He was 99.

The Billy Graham Center at Wheaton was dedicated in 1980. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was headquartered at the time in downtown Minneapolis.

The association moved its headquarters to a 63-acre site in Charlotte in 2001 that now includes a 200,000-square-foot office building and 40,000-square-foot Billy Graham Library.

The archives will be readied for transfer beginning June 1, association officials said in the release. Details are being finalized as to when the archives will reopen at the Billy Graham Library.

“We are grateful for the role Wheaton College played in my father’s life and for their ongoing commitment to the cause of evangelism— as well as for their partnership as these archives transition into a new era,” Franklin Graham said in the news release.

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