The Archive Collection

Cliff Barrows: The Early Years

April 1, 2013

This month Cliff Barrows celebrates his 90th birthday! As we mentioned in the March email, Cliff was one of the first team members to join with Billy Graham to form the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

How did it all begin? It was the summer of 1945. Billy was speaking at a meeting in Asheville, North Carolina and needed a song leader. Coincidentally, Cliff and Billie Barrows were in the area on their honeymoon. Billy asked the couple for their assistance, they agreed, and thus began a lifetime partnership.

In his book, Just As I Am, Billy says the following of Cliff Barrows “From the moment I met Cliff Barrows, I knew he had a rare combination of strengths. He loves music, and he knows also the importance of music in touching the hearts of an audience. His uncanny ability to lead a Crusade choir of thousands of voices or an audience of a hundred thousand voices in a great hymn or Gospel chorus is absolutely unparalleled. No one could keep the complicated Crusade proceedings running more smoothly than he.”

In addition to his duties with the Crusades, Cliff also had other demanding responsibilities. He gave oversight to the production of The Hour of Decision radio broadcasts and assisted extensively with the production of the television ministry. His wisdom and guidance were also welcomed with the outreach of World Wide Pictures.

Billy went on to say “All of that talent is not the secret of Cliff’s effectiveness. It is his humility and his willingness to be a servant, which spring from his devotional life and his daily walk with Christ. The love of Christ so monopolizes his heart and will that he never seeks his own advantage at the expense of others or puts another person down. I trust Cliff, and love him like a brother.”


What Do You Think?