NASHVILLE (BP) - Known as "America's pastor," evangelist Billy Graham also had personal relationships with leaders around the world - in the Vatican, in Buckingham Palace, and in nations stretching from Argentina to Yugoslavia.
Starting Monday, two new collections about his ministry, including notebooks documenting Graham's personal relationship with each U.S. president from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama, will be opened to the public. Maintained by the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College in Illinois, the collections also cover Graham's interactions with other world leaders, his evangelistic campaigns, his work with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and a wide range of other topics.
“These collections are a treasure house for anyone interested in Rev. Graham, American evangelicalism, or global Christianity, among many other possible subjects,” said Wheaton archivist Bob Shuster in a statement.
“People will benefit from Rev. Graham's generosity in making them available for many years to come.”
Graham and the BGEA had embargoed the two collections until after his death, and documents within the collections remain closed until they are 30 years old. Some documents have additional restrictions.
The collections include letters, sermons, photos, audio and video files, and other materials.
Graham died Feb. 21 at his home in Montreat, N.C. During his lifetime, an estimated 2.2 billion people heard him preach.
Lisa Cannon Green is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources and for LifeWay's Facts&Trends (factsandtrends.net).