Remembering Ruth Bell Graham | Franklin Graham

June 11, 2020

Following her death in 2007, Ruth Graham’s children shared memories of their mother with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Today we are sharing reflections from Billy and Ruth’s son Franklin, who serves as the President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

I’ll never forget the first time my mother heard me preach. Standing at the podium and seeing her in the shadows, I realized just how much that moment represented an answer to her faithful prayers.

To follow in my father’s footsteps, I had to go through my mother’s knee prints.

Even in my rebellious years, I never doubted that Mama loved me unconditionally. I knew she prayed for me earnestly. She knew when to lecture me, when to punish me and when to hug me.

As my father was busy in his worldwide ministry, my mother was equally busy in her version of home missions—raising our family in an atmosphere that was wholesome, fun and God-fearing. She gave up her dream of becoming a missionary to Tibet because she realized that God was calling her to serve Him at home. She taught us to memorize Scripture, to think for ourselves and to care for others. No one could look at her life and doubt that she chose God’s will for her life.

Mama was fearless and tough. She wasn’t scared of chasing a rattlesnake, jumping on a motorcycle, climbing on a roof or confronting a protester.

—Franklin Graham, Ruth’s son



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