from the Billy Graham Library

Ruth 100: Ruth Graham as a World Traveler

August 10, 2020

Categories: Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth Bell Graham chose to remain at home during much of Billy’s travels—she felt it was important for her to stay at home to provide stability for their five children. However, she did accompany Billy from time to time at his Crusades, particularly when Billy wrote her to join him while he was away.

In his autobiography Just As I Am, Billy recounts, “Right after I got to Scotland, I expressed my yearning for her company in a letter that might have pressured her as much as I hope it pleased her: ‘You have no idea how lonesome it is without you! In thinking about my message tonight, I’d give anything if you were here to talk it over with. You are the only one that ever really understands my dilemma in the choice of messages.’… It had been only a month since I had left home, but it seemed like a year.”

Over the years, Ruth traveled to countries all over the world, including England, China, Amsterdam, and Hungary in support of Billy’s ministry. At many locations, she was presented with a gift from people she met.

Ruth traveled around the world in support of Billy’s ministry. This doll was given to her by then president of Delta Airlines, C.E. Woolman in 1956.
A round floral lace tablecloth given to Ruth Graham in 1977 by a Baptist church in Kiskoros, Hungary
A round porcelain bowl given to Ruth Graham in England by the Liverpool Football Club
A pink beaded necklace presented to Ruth Graham in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1991 by the Buenos Aires Crusade Committee


Ruth wrote about her whirlwind travels in a poem in her book Footprints of a Pilgrim:

I feel like a chicken running
With my head cut off.
Some days I can’t run.
Some days I do well to get out of bed.
Here was one year’s journey—
Washington, D.C.
Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha (surgery)
The Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic
Los Angeles


To see more items from Ruth’s travels around the world, visit the Billy Graham Library. To find out more and to plan your visit, go to

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  1. Norma Montano

    Thank you for this post. I have been spiritually inspired by Ruth Graham’s life. What a blessed, supportive wife to Dr. Billy Graham! So grateful to the Lord for this precious family.