The Archive Collection

Inside the Archive: Native American Headdress

January 6, 2022

During the course of 2022, we’ll take a look at memorabilia from locations where Billy Graham preached and will be locations where Franklin Graham or Will Graham will preach this year during evangelistic events, continuing the legacy Billy Graham and his team began more than 70 years ago.

Billy Graham is presented with a ceremonial headdress by Rev. Tom Claus during the 1974 Crusade in Phoenix

In 1974, Billy Graham was honored with a Native American headdress and was given the name “Natani,” which means “Warrior of the Great Spirit,” during a presentation at his Crusade in Phoenix, Arizona.

The ceremonial headdress given to Billy Graham in 1974
Legacy of the Gospel: Taking the message of hope to Indigenous communities in the U.S.

During his ministry, Billy Graham preached to people from varying cultures across the globe. He did not fail to ignore a culture that is so significant to the history of his own country in the United States, that of the Native American.

Billy and Ruth Graham meet with a tribe of Native Americans in 1962.

Of the Native Americans, Billy Graham once said, “The greatest moments of Native History may lie ahead of us if a great spiritual renewal and awakening should take place. The Native American has been a sleeping giant. He is awakening. The original Americans could become the evangelists who will help win America for Christ! Remember these forgotten people!”

The Legacy Continues

Later this year, Billy Graham’s grandson Will Graham will return to the “sleeping giant” to continue his evangelistic work with Native Americans. In 2021, he preached to more than 5,100 people, more than 1,100 indicated decisions, at The Monument in Rapid City, South Dakota during the Black Hills Paha Sapa Celebration. This June, he’ll host Celebration events at the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations to bring the message of God’s love.

Will Graham in South Dakota in 2021. He’ll return to preach on several Native American Reservations in 2022.

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