The Archive Collection

From the Archives: Billy Graham & Kathie Lee Gifford

October 19, 2021


Billy Graham appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee in 1991

“Nobody ever will be like Billy,” Kathie Lee Gifford said. “God just ordained that he would be that man—His man—to proclaim the Gospel, and I doubt any other human being will ever reach as many people personally.”

God used Billy Graham to reach not only Gifford but also her closest family members in a personal way. When she was a girl, she came home one night to find her mother and sister crying in front of the television after watching a Billy Graham Crusade.

Kathie Lee Gifford shared in an interview with BGEA: “I walked in thinking they were reacting to bad news on the television, but it was the opposite of that,” she said. “They were reacting to the Good News on the TV. The Good News that God loved my mother and sister. They were just rejoicing in their newfound faith in Jesus.

“Every member of my family … was impacted by [Billy Graham’s] ministry.”

Kathie Lee Gifford accepted Christ when she was 12 years old after watching The Restless Ones, a faith-based film produced by Billy Graham’s movie ministry World Wide Pictures.

“I am absolutely convinced through a lifetime of faith—and stumbling more than walking with the Lord—that everything is purposeful,” Gifford said.  “For the Lord to meet me personally in a movie theater and become real to me is just absolutely the sovereignty of God. There’s No Question in My Mind”

A hardback book “Listen to My Heart” by Kathie Lee Gifford and Cody Gifford give to Billy and Ruth Graham

When Kathie Lee Gifford was in the spotlight and facing harsh criticism, Mr. Graham was there to pray for her and her husband Frank. Not only did he pray, but he surrounded them as a friend. Their friendship developed in the 80s and 90s and continued until Mr. Graham went to heaven.

Kathie Lee Gifford gifted Mr. Graham a copy of her book Listen to My Heart: Lessons in Love, Laughter, and Lunacy. The book released in 1995 and is signed by Kathie Lee’s son, Cody Gifford, who was around the age of 5 at the time.

The inscription reads, “for Billy and Ruth with my love from your friend, Cody.” Lessons in love, laughter and lunacy.

The year before, in 1994, Mr. Graham had appeared on a Christmas special that was filmed in Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford’s home in Greenwich, Conn.

“There’ll never be another Billy. God will raise up great servants, but there is a special place at the foot of the Savior in heaven for Billy Graham.”

 To see more of Billy Graham’s memorabilia from his friendships with celebrities and world leaders, plan your visit to the Billy Graham Library.

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