Pastor to Presidents: Billy Graham and Bill Clinton

December 9, 2020

Bill Clinton first came to know of Billy Graham and his ministry when he was an 11 year-old kid in Arkansas. He asked his Sunday School teacher to drive him the 50 miles to Little Rock so he could go to the Billy Graham Crusade because he admired Billy’s efforts to keep his Crusades integrated.

Crusade in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1959

During President Clinton’s administration in 1995, the tragic bombing of the federal office building in Oklahoma City occurred. Both the president and Billy were asked to speak at the memorial service for the victims. In Just As I Am, Billy speaks of that day: “The service itself was unforgettable, but I will always especially remember joining President and Mrs. Clinton as we met privately with some of the families who had been affected by the bombing. There were no television cameras or reporters around, and Mr. Clinton had nothing to gain politically by taking the time to be with them. And yet seldom have I seen anyone express so movingly and sincerely a genuine sense of compassion and sympathy to those who were hurting. I felt that he, not I was the real pastor that day.”

Billy Graham stands with President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office

The Billy Graham Library is featuring an exhibit Pastor to Presidents highlighting Billy Graham’s friendships with our nation’s Executive Office. The exhibit runs through December 23, 2020. For more information on the exhibit, visit


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