Billy Graham’s children are thankful for their father; they just wish he’d been around more.
When Franklin Graham was five, his famous father was in Australia for six months preaching at a Billy Graham Crusade. Like many youngsters, “I’d wake up in the morning, go down the hall and crawl into bed with Mama,” Franklin says. “Well, one day I went in and Daddy had come home. So here he was, this man in her bed. I asked Mama, ‘Who’s that?’”
Billy’s children say that his frequent extended absences marked them, but so did his unconditional love. While he sometimes chose ministry over family, they also knew that he loved them deeply and unconditionally.
The Graham children have both struggled and triumphed. Three out of the five have been divorced; both boys openly rebelled. All of them wrestled with simply being the offspring of the 20th century’s most famous evangelist.
Today, the Graham children are all engaged in full-time ministry, but more importantly, they respect and honor their parents. As adults, they look back on their peculiar childhood through the lens of grace.
The eldest, Gigi Graham Foreman, has written seven books and is a sought-after speaker. Anne Graham Lotz runs AnGeL Ministries, which hosts Bible teaching revivals and conferences both here and abroad, and has authored numerous books. Ruth “Bunny” Graham leads Ruth Graham and Friends, a ministry to help hurting people within the church, and also writes and speaks extensively. Franklin Graham is CEO and president of both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, a compassion and relief organization. Ned Graham, the youngest, has been a pastor and now runs East Gates, an organization that works to print and distribute Bibles in China (where their mother, Ruth Bell …