On This Date: Billy Graham Library Dedication—May 31, 2007
Ten years ago, the Billy Graham Library was dedicated in a special ceremony. On May 31, 2007, more than 1,000 people, including three former U.S. presidents and many dignitaries, attended the ceremony in honor of the impact Billy Graham and his ministries have made around the world.
Among many speakers that day was Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, who shared these remarks:
“Mr. Presidents, Daddy, Mrs. Bush, Governor, Cousin Mayor, the Board of Directors, to my family and to friends, I want to thank you for coming today. What a special thanks to the donors, the people that have backed this organization financially, that have also paid for the completion of this Library, and we’re very grateful and thankful to you and thank God for your generosity. The Library, as we were looking at the Library, the concern that my father had, that I had, as well as the Board of Directors, that this not be a monument to Billy Graham. Because if this was going to be a monument to Billy Graham, my father wanted nothing to do with it. Matter of fact, when he goes through the Library, he says it’s got too much Billy Graham in it. I think if his name was mentioned one time he would say there is too much Billy Graham.
This Library is not about Billy Graham, but it’s about the message that Billy Graham has preached for the last 60 plus years. And that is the message of the cross. And if you look at the Library, what you see is a cross. My father’s name is not on the building, but the cross. The only way that you can come into the Library is through the foot of the cross. And as you go through the Library, over and over again it’s the message of the cross. Of God’s love for us, that he sent his one and only son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to this earth, to take our sins and to die on a cross to shed his blood. To be buried, but on the third day God raised him to life. Jesus Christ is not on the cross, he’s not dead in the grave, but he’s alive. And he will come into each and every heart if we confess our sins and repent, and by faith receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And the message of this Library is God’s love for us. Jesus Christ, whom he gave, God’s Son, for this world. And so it’s a privilege to be a part of this today. I have a very special thanks not only to the Board of Directors, but to the Building Committee that was headed by Mr. Bill Pauls. Bill Pauls is a land developer out of Colorado who spent hundreds of hours giving direction on this project. We certainly could not have built our headquarters or could we have had this Library without his help and that of the Building Committee of the Board of Directors.
Many people that we want to thank today. But most of all I want to thank my father, my mother, who is not with us today, who is not in good health. And all of us in the family are praying for her and very concerned for her and love her very much. And we’re grateful for the heritage and for the example that our parents have set. Many people have asked me the last few days, “What is it like being the son of Billy Graham?” Well, I don’t know because I don’t have another father to compare him to. But one thing I’ve appreciated about my father, the Billy Graham that the world has seen publicly is the Billy Graham that we have seen at home. There’s not two people.
This Library is about a man who took God’s Gospel and he took it to the ends of the earth. This Library is about the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that every person who comes through that door will hear and understand that Jesus Christ died for their sins. I want every person who comes to that Library to know that God can change their life. He can forgive them, cleanse them and set them free of their guilt and shame if they’re willing to bow their knee and surrender their life to Jesus Christ. He will come into their hearts and into their lives and he’ll change them, cleanse them and they can leave this Library forgiven, knowing that they’re on their way to heaven. For this is what this Library is about. It’s a tool for ministry for years to come. It’s a tool for evangelism. And long after my father and mother are in heaven, people are going to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ because of the message they hear inside those doors. Thank you for being here and God bless you.”