Local News

Billy Graham's daughter speaks in Fayetteville

Posted March 2, 2013 5:36 p.m. EST
Updated February 21, 2018 3:27 p.m. EST

— The eldest child of Billy Graham brought encouragement and prayer to hundreds of women in Fayetteville Saturday.

Gigi Graham was the guest speaker at the First Presbyterian Church as part of a conference called "Good News For Today's Christian Woman." The event drew nearly 600 women from different churches and denominations.

She talked about her own life struggles, saying her Christian faith has carried her through and made her stronger.

"They gave me an appetite for what they had," she said of her parents. "I wanted their kind of faith. So, I never felt like I had to rebel against that because they made it very appetizing."

While Billy Graham was gone for weeks at a time, his wife, Ruth Graham, would be left to care for their five children, who were known to be cantankerous with each other.

"My mother was a very positive person, and I can say categorically that I never, ever heard my mother complain," Gigi Graham said. "If she had, that might have made a difference in our lives. We might have resented Daddy. We might have resented the ministry. We might have resented God."

The Grahams were "an ordinary family, she said, that "God has chosen to use in maybe some extraordinary ways."

"You can't have a family that big without problems and issues, and so we have them just like everybody else," she said. "But we're so grateful that, No. 1, we have the same resource. We have the resource of the Lord Jesus Christ giving us strength and giving us patience to get through these issues."

Her father's fame didn't put added pressure on her growing up, Gigi Graham said.

"I don't think we had pressure. I mean, we didn't really know," she said of her father's public stature. "We knew he was preaching the gospel. We knew he was out preaching. We were thrilled about that and thrilled that people were coming to Christ, but we didn't really know how well known he was until, I guess, we got the hint when magazines arrived at the house with Daddy's picture on the front cover."

Gigi Graham followed in her father's footsteps with her own ministry.

"I've never heard my Daddy, I don't think I've ever heard him – I don't want to be dogmatic – but I don't remember ever hearing my Daddy call it 'my ministry.' He always said 'our ministry.'"

She expressed gratitude to everyone who's kept the Graham family in prayer, and she spent time signing her own books and those written by her evangelist father.

Graham said her father is recording another sermon for a project called "My Hope with Billy Graham." It will be released for his 95th birthday in November.

She said he also just finished another book that will be out in a couple of months.