from the Billy Graham Library

Pastor to Presidents: Billy Graham and Gerald Ford

October 28, 2020

Gerald Ford was the only President never elected into office. Following the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation, he assumed the office of president, with one of his first tasks being to grant a complete pardon to Nixon. Billy Graham was a key force behind that pardon, encouraging Ford to help the country move forward.

As with other presidents, Billy Graham was invited to the Oval Office to meet with President Ford

During Ford’s presidency, Billy was invited to multiple events at the White House, including a state dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth II; and, as with other presidents, Billy was a favorite golf partner whenever Ford visited Charlotte.

Billy Graham and President Ford enjoying a game of golf

Of Billy, Ford said, “I’ve heard the comments from some sources that Billy mixes politics with religion. I never felt that and I don’t think that the thousands and thousands of people who listen to him felt that. Billy dropped by the Oval Office on several occasions while I was president. They were get-togethers of old friends. They had no political or other significance. It was simply an expression, or an extension, of our long-standing friendship.”

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 31, 2020. For more information on the exhibit, visit


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