Skip to main content

Collection 015 Papers of Billy Graham

Identifier: CN-015
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. Topics covered in the material include: Billy Graham's family life, 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 BGC 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.

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.


  • Created: 1936-2018

Conditions Governing Access

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. Please contact the BGC Archives for permission forms to submit to the BGEA or the Graham Literary Trust

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


1.57 Cubic Feet

3 boxes (2 DC, 1 Flat), Audio Tapes, Film, Photographs other_unmapped

Accruals and Additions

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
Collection 015 Papers of Billy Graham
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Billy Graham Center Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US