The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., is hosting a special two-month tribute to the late Ruth Graham that will display items from her personal life the public has never seen.
Items range in the time period from Graham's childhood in China as the daughter of missionaries to her years of raising five children in the mountains of North Carolina.
Among the memorabilia on display beginning Monday are: her wedding dress, entries from her personal journals, correspondence between her husband Billy Graham and herself during their early years of marriage, photos from her trips to China, her early artworks, and a handwritten letter from a young Ruth to Santa Claus.
"We've worked hard to weave together so many pieces of her life into this tribute, spending hours looking at family photos, reading her poetry, and selecting the items that would best describe who she was," said Debra Blanton, director of the Library. "We already have 'Ruth's Room,' a permanent part of the Library experience, but we wanted to provide an even greater opportunity for our guests to get to know this remarkable woman."
Ruth Graham was born in China to Presbyterian medical missionary parents. When she was 13-years-old, she was enrolled in high school in Pyongyang, which is now the capital of North Korea. She completed her high school education in Montreat, N.C., and then attended Wheaton College in Illinois. It was at Wheaton she met Billy Graham who proposed to her after three months of courtship.
For the next six decades, Ruth supported the ministry of America's most famous evangelist and raised their five children in North Carolina. Billy Graham often referred to her as his most-trusted advisor and the greatest Christian he has ever known.
But in addition to family life, Ruth Graham was also a prolific and accomplished author, poet, and artist.
She passed away in June 2007 at the age of 87 and is buried at the Library's Prayer Garden. The Billy Graham Library was opened by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association the same month Ruth passed away. The Library has had more than 280,000 visitors from around the world since it opened two years ago.
The special Ruth Graham exhibit will be open to the public until the end of July.