For decades, Billy Graham has been touted as one of the nation’s—and the world’s—most revered people. Last year marked the 58th time he was voted one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” through a Gallup poll.
He has also been known unofficially as “America’s Pastor” and “Pastor to Presidents.”
When North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory visited Billy Graham at his home in 2013, he presented him with his latest title: “North Carolina’s Favorite Son.”
The state’s House and Senate each passed subsequent resolutions to officially declare this distinction, as well as to memorialize Mr. Graham’s late wife, Ruth Bell Graham.
Now, North Carolina Museum of History visitors will get a chance to learn more about the life and ministry of the Tarheel State’s iconic native.
From November 2015 through July 2016 a special exhibit, “North Carolina’s Favorite Son: Billy Graham and His Remarkable Journey of Faith,” will be displayed at the museum in Raleigh.
The 5,000 square foot exhibit, which is not publicly funded, opens on November 7—Billy Graham’s 97th birthday. It will include memorabilia, displays and multimedia that document his early days as a farm boy in Charlotte, his family life, his friendships with dignitaries and his leadership through national and international crises like 9/11.
“It seemed appropriate to pay homage while he is still living,” said David Bruce, assistant to Billy Graham. “And now, anyone who visits the North Carolina Museum of History will have a chance to see the influence this man from our state has had worldwide.”
After the “Favorite Son” designation became official, it became obvious to several state leaders in Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital, that there was little in the way of public recognition for Graham. This group went before the museum directors and petitioned to have a display to honor their special native.
“They realized there was not very much reflection of our state’s faith element, and that a display about the life of Billy Graham would satisfy much of that,” Bruce explained. “There are definitely reflections of notable people like politicians, but this adds a missing and very important piece.”
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