Behind the Library
Behind the Library is a double-entendre, of sorts. As a ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), the Library is the public presentation of more than 70 years of evangelism and will continue to serve as an ongoing Crusade for many years to come. As you visit the Library in Charlotte, N.C., you can see facets of various other ministries that are part of the BGEA throughout the facility itself. And if you stand in just the right location on the grounds of the Library, you can see glimpses of another building that literally stands behind the Library itself – the headquarters of the BGEA.
We invite you to join us on the behind-the-scenes tour of the ministry behind the Billy Graham Library; the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Part 1 – The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Founded in 1950 with the purposes of broadcasting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the original offices were located in Minneapolis, Minn., where Mr. Graham was serving as the president of Northwestern Schools.
Through the years, the mission of BGEA has remained the same: to take the Gospel to all the corners of the world through all effective means possible. But few know that the ministry itself was launched more than 60 years ago because of a radio program. (We will save that for another day.)
When filing the formal corporation, the name of the Association was chosen that still stands, although it wasn’t ever fully embraced by its namesake.
“George (Wilson) was the one who chose the name, although I protested strongly. George protested just as strongly that the new organization needed to be identified with my name, since I was the major evangelist. Forty-seven years later, I still wish my name were not so visible. It’s God’s organization, not mine, and if we ever lose sight of that fact, God will withdraw His blessing from our work.” –Billy Graham, Just As I Am (Harper Collins, 1997)
In 2003, the Association relocated its headquarters to Billy Graham’s hometown of Charlotte, N.C., and in 2007 the Billy Graham Library was opened.
Over the last several years, BGEA has implemented many ministry endeavors aimed at spreading the Gospel, including: large-scale festivals led by evangelists Franklin Graham and Will Graham; My Hope with Billy Graham, a grassroots person-to-person outreach that has taken the Gospel to 59 countries; the Billy Graham Library; the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, located outside of Asheville, N.C.; SearchforJesus.net, an Internet evangelism project reaching millions of people for Christ online; the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, a nationwide network of hundreds of chaplains who are specifically trained to offer hope in crisis situations; Children’s and Youth Evangelism Training, which offers the Dare to Be a Daniel and The Greatest Journey curriculum; and many other media outreaches using print, television, telephone, radio and the Internet.
We will be taking a look at Crusades, Festivals and Celebration in Part 2 of Behind the Library. To find out more about the BGEA, visit www.billygraham.org.