Ruth 100: Ruth Graham, the Leader

June 10, 2020

Categories: Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth Graham‘s role as wife, homemaker and support to Billy Graham was recognized by Women in Leadership on April 20, 1986 when she was given the Christian Excellence Award “for her shining example to us all of Christian womanhood and service.”

Ruth Graham was truly a servant leader. Even while managing the concerns of her family and household, she ministered to the needs of those in the community around her, seeing the towns around her home in Montreat, North Carolina, as her mission field.

As the July 2007 issue of Decision Magazine recounts: “in 1993, when Tracy Taylor Bailey, the conference manager at the Montreat Conference Center, lost her husband in a tragic automobile accident, Ruth invited Tracy and her young children up to her home. ‘It was like going to Grandma’s house. She had fixed a dinner of kid-friendly food, and then she made a game, a scavenger hunt. She had taken things and hidden them throughout the house, and she gave us a list of things to look for. … We found all the things on the list, and she was just delighted, watching that.'”

Ruth’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said of her mom in 2002, “She has the heart of an evangelist. Although her gift is often overshadowed by my father’s, Mother’s gift is exercised effectively on behalf of individuals. At her deepest core is the desire for individuals to know Christ in a personal and intimate way. My father preaches sermons to the masses, reaching thousands; my mother talks to individuals, loving them one by one.”

As we continue to celebrate what would have been Ruth Graham’s 100th year, we’d love for you to visit us at the Billy Graham Library. To plan your visit, go to

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