Pastor to Presidents: Billy Graham and George W. Bush

December 16, 2020

George W. Bush knew Billy Graham from a young age since Billy and Ruth were such good friends with his parents. George and Barbara Bush often invited the Grahams to their home in Kennebunkport, and they would ask Billy to do a question and answer session about faith for their children and grandchildren during their visit. During one of these times, George W. Bush took on a new seriousness about his faith.

During President George W. Bush’s administration, the nation was stunned when hijacked planes were used as bombs to take down the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. President Bush asked Billy to come to Washington to participate in a service as part of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. Of this day, Billy writes in his autobiography, “The service itself was unforgettable, with former presidents and members of Congress joining President Bush and other leaders in asking for God’s comfort on all who had been touched by the tragedy, and for God’s wisdom and courage in the days ahead.”

Photo of Billy Graham and George W. Bush at National Prayer Service following the tragedies of 9/11

In George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, he says of Billy: “I was captivated by him. He had a powerful presence, full of kindness and grace, and a keen mind.”

Billy and Ruth Graham with Franklin and Jane Austin Graham and President George and Laura Bush at the White House

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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