Billy Graham, White House Christmas

December 2, 2020

U.S. President Richard Nixon and Mrs. Pat Nixon meet with the Rev. and Mrs. Billy Graham in the White House on Sunday, Dec. 16, 1973 after a worship service. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)

Billy Graham and President Richard Nixon shared a special friendship that began long before Nixon took the oath of office. So, it was natural as Nixon began his presidency that the friendship would extend into his time in office.

Invitation from Richard Nixon to Billy and Ruth Graham for a Christmas event at the White House in 1970

President Nixon invited Billy to the White House frequently, including for a black tie Christmas event in 1970. At the event, English actor David Frost performed an original humorous program featuring the writings of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.

Program from 1970 White House Christmas Event

While he was president, Nixon often asked Billy Graham to lead the Sunday service at the White House. On Sunday, December 16, 1973, Billy Graham led the White House Christmas service for the Nixon family and those gathered. He spoke about the cradle, the cross, and the crown. To read his message, click here: Billy Graham’s Christmas Message at the White House. The service also featured opening remarks from President Nixon and music from the United States Army Chorus.


Program from the White House Christmas Service in 1973

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


What Do You Think?