Essential Books on Billy Graham
There are countless books on Billy Graham, and it comes with good reason, he was an American evangelist and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who became well-known internationally in the late 1940s and is considered to be among the most influential Christian leaders of the twentieth century.
“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love,” he remarked.
In order to get to the bottom of what inspired one of history’s most consequential figures to the height of societal contribution, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best books on Billy Graham.
Billy Graham: The Man I Knew by Greg Laurie
Pastor and bestselling author Greg Laurie was one of those fortunate few blessed with an insider’s view of Billy Graham’s world for more than two decades. With the same painstaking research and eye for detail that distinguishes his previous biographies, Laurie now turns to the life of his beloved mentor, offering the intimate perspective of a disciple and friend.
As a strapping North Carolina farm boy, Graham surrendered his life to Jesus at a camp meeting led by a blustery itinerant preacher, but he never lost the mischievous twinkle in his eye or his fun-loving air.
Laurie sheds light on Graham’s lesser-known struggles – such as a broken heart before he met the love of his life and a crisis of faith from which he emerged stronger than ever. From the evangelist’s private challenges and public successes to his disappointments and joys, this hallmark among books on Billy Graham provides a vivid portrait of one of history’s most remarkable Christian lives.
One Soul at a Time by Grant Wacker
For more than five decades, Billy Graham ranked as one of the most influential voices in the Christian world. Nearly 215 million people around the world heard him preach in person or through live electronic media, almost certainly more than any other person. For millions, Graham was less a preacher than a Protestant saint. While remaining orthodox at the core, over time his approach on many issues became more irenic and progressive. And his preaching continued to resonate, propelled by his powerful promise of a second chance.
Drawing on decades of research on Billy Graham and American evangelicalism, Grant Wacker has marshaled personal interviews, archival research, and never-before-published photographs from the Graham family and others to tell the remarkable story of one of the most celebrated Christians in American history.
Where Wacker’s previous work on Graham, America’s Pastor, focused on the preacher’s relation to the nation’s culture, One Soul at a Time offers a sweeping, easy-to-read narrative of the life of the man himself.
A Prophet with Honor by William Martin
Carefully documented, eminently fair, and gracefully written, it raises and answers key questions about Graham’s character, contributions, and influence on the world religious scene. In this engaging and comprehensive book, William Martin gives readers a better understanding of the most successful evangelist in modern history, and the movement he led for over fifty years.
A Prophet with Honor makes a vital contribution to the Billy Graham legacy and allows us to understand why his words, actions, and personality endeared him to popes and preachers, kings and presidents, and millions of Christians in virtually every nation and culture around the world.
Martin pays particular attention to Graham’s controversial relationships with Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. He also describes how Graham’s lifelong determination “to do something great for God” led him to organize international conferences that spearheaded the worldwide spread of the liberating message of Jesus, and prompted him to help strengthen religious freedom in the Soviet bloc and China.
America’s Pastor by Grant Wacker
During a career spanning sixty years, the Reverend Billy Graham’s resonant voice and chiseled profile entered the living rooms of millions of Americans with a message that called for personal transformation through God’s grace. How did a lanky farm kid from North Carolina become an evangelist hailed by the media as “America’s pastor”? Why did listeners young and old pour out their grief and loneliness in letters to a man they knew only through televised “Crusades” in faraway places like Madison Square Garden? More than a conventional biography, Grant Wacker’s interpretive study deepens our understanding of why Billy Graham has mattered so much to so many.
Beginning with tent revivals in the 1940s, Graham transformed his born-again theology into a moral vocabulary capturing the fears and aspirations of average Americans. He possessed an uncanny ability to appropriate trends in the wider culture and engaged boldly with the most significant developments of his time, from communism and nuclear threat to poverty and civil rights. The enduring meaning of his career, in Wacker’s analysis, lies at the intersection of Graham’s own creative agency and the forces shaping modern America.
The Preacher and the Presidents by Nancy Gibbs
No one man or woman has ever been in a position to see the presidents, and the presidency, so intimately, over so many years. They called him in for photo opportunities. They called for comfort. They asked about death and salvation; about sin and forgiveness. At a time when the nation is increasingly split over the place of religion in public life, this necessary addition to the ever-growing index of books on Billy Graham reveals how the world’s most powerful men and world’s most famous evangelist knit faith and politics together.
Hailed as “the world’s preacher,” Billy Graham enjoyed a career that spanned six decades and his ministry of faith touched the hearts and souls of millions.
In Just As I Am, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, Graham reveals his life story in what the Chicago Tribune calls “a disarmingly honest autobiography.” With down-to-earth warmth and candor, Graham tells the stories of the events and encounters that helped shape his life. He recounts meetings with presidents, celebrities, and world leaders, including Harry S. Truman, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, and the Shah of Iran, and shares his own spiritual journey as he movingly reflects on his personal life and relationships. This is an inspirational and unforgettable portrait that will be treasured by readers everywhere.
Through My Father’s Eyes by Franklin Graham
As a beloved evangelist and a respected man of God, Billy Graham’s stated purpose in life never wavered: to help people find a personal relationship with God through a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This was a calling that only increased over time, and Billy embraced it fully throughout his active ministry and beyond. Yet Billy pursued his life’s work, as many men do, amid a similarly significant calling to be a loving husband and father.
While most people knew Billy Graham as America’s Pastor, Franklin Graham knew him in a different way, as a Dad. And while present and future generations will come to their own conclusions about Billy Graham and the legacy that his commitment to Christ has left behind, no one can speak more insightfully or authoritatively on that subject than a son who grew up in the shadow of his father’s life and the examples of his father’s love. This vulnerable book is a look at both Billy Graham the evangelist and Billy Graham the father, and the impact he had on a son who walked in his father’s steps while also becoming his own man, leading ministries around the world, all of it based on the foundational lessons his father taught him.
Saturdays with Billy by Donald J. Wilton
Discover a beautiful friendship between Billy Graham and his friend and pastor, Don Wilton. Most Saturdays for 15 years, Don drove the long road to meet with Billy at his home in Montreat, North Carolina. There the two friends spent hours talking about family, politics, sports, and their spiritual lives. Just as Billy’s words changed Don’s life, they have the power to change ours – a testament to a man who leaned on God’s grace into eternity.
Billy Graham A Tribute: Classic Sermons of Billy Graham
Billy Graham is a world-famous, preacher, evangelist and author. He has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone else in history and has served the Christian church on every continent of the world. This tribute brings together a selection of his gospel sermons delivered in major cities during his years as a worldwide evangelist. These inspirational messages will encourage and inspire, as the foundational principles of salvation and the mercy of God are presented in clear and loving detail.
Ruth, A Portrait by Patricia Cornwell
Ruth Bell Graham is known as the wife of evangelist Billy Graham. It was Ruth who influenced Billy, as his most trusted life partner. In Ruth, a Portrait, we meet this fascinating and remarkable woman. Brimming with anecdotes, this is a breathtaking journey, with stops at many of this century’s epoch-making events.
The childhood years of the future Mrs. Billy Graham were spent light-years away – in the China of the 1920s and 1930s. The daughter of medical missionaries, she and her family were caught in a crucible of unspeakable hardship; in addition to pestilence and plague, there was the unstable political and military turmoil surrounding the Nationalist government, the Communists, and the Japanese invaders. These hazardous realities shaped Ruth Bell and her family, a family inured to difficulties, but buoyed up by their deep belief in God’s abiding will.
Virtually raised by the Grahams, the author is a repository of Ruth Bell Graham’s stories and has seen firsthand the spirit of this courageous woman. Patricia Cornwell not only gives readers a full, rounded, and intimate portrait of Ruth Bell Graham, but also insight into the life of the Graham family and particularly Billy Graham.
Symbol or Substance by Peter Kreeft
In this engaging fictional conversation, Peter Kreeft gives credible voices to C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Billy Graham as they discuss one of the most contentious questions in the history of Christianity: Is Jesus symbolically or substantially present in the Eucharist?
These widely respected modern Christian witnesses represent three important Western theological traditions. Graham, an ordained Southern Baptist minister who traversed the world and the airwaves to spread the good news of salvation, represents evangelical Protestantism. Lewis, an Oxford professor, a prolific Christian apologist, and the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, was a member of the Church of England. Also an Oxford don, Tolkien was a friend of Lewis, the author of The Lord of the Rings, and a Roman Catholic.
While Lewis and Tolkien likely discussed the Eucharist during their long friendship, the conversation in this book never took place – but it could have, says Kreeft, who faithfully presents the views of these three impressive men.
Inspirational Books by Billy Graham
The Journey by Billy Graham
In this culminating work of a lifetime, the remarkable Billy Graham invites you to join him in discovering God’s plan for this exciting journey called life. Wherever you are in your journey – just beginning, at the middle, or near the end – you’ve already learned that life offers a variety of paths. The good news is that we aren’t alone, says Graham. Not only did God carve out the path for us, but He wants to join us on the journey, help us with challenges along the way, and eventually lead us home.
This magnum opus from Billy Graham, seasoned with many personal stories from his own life, offers wisdom, encouragement, hope, and inspiration for anyone who wants to make the most of The Journey.
Nearing Home – written by Reverend Billy Graham in his nineties – is a deeply personal memoir that explores how our strength can continually be found in the foundational truths of Scripture and inexhaustible love of Christ, despite the many trials of aging and the approaching end of our earthly time.
“Explore with me not only the realities of life as we grow older but also the hope and fulfillment and even joy that can be ours once we learn to look at these years from God’s point of view and discover His strength to sustain us every day,” writes Billy Graham.
Interest in angels, demons, heaven, and hell – as well as the occult – is still gaining ground. Even in secular culture, science and empirical evidence don’t hold the same influence they once did, and many people admit to believing in powers beyond their ability to see and understand.
But for the Christian, it’s important that we learn to distinguish between fact and fiction, while still maintaining our faith in the spiritual world and improving our openness to God’s supernatural work. In Angels, Dr. Billy Graham will lift the veil between the visible and the invisible world to give you an eye-opening account of these behind-the-scenes spiritual agents. Angels are real. They are not the product of your imagination.
Exciting, revolutionary power is available exclusively to you as a Christian. It’s the supernatural power to transform human nature, to enable you to be the salt and light to your world, to help you face any crisis, and to bring about a dramatic but peaceful revolution in those around you. You cannot buy this extraordinary power, nor can you find it by searching the earth for it. As a Christian, it resides in you already, an awesome gift from God that you have only to claim and use once you know and accept its Source.
In this gem among books by Billy Graham, America’s Pastor reminds us that Christians are powerful people because we have the mighty power of God available to us through the Holy Spirit. Open your eyes anew to see how the Spirit can transform your life and give you the power to be truly good and live victoriously.
As our nation and world travail in the midst of political, economic, and cultural uncertainties, we can find comfort in the hope that comes from the unchanging truth of God’s Word. Whether talking with a US president, a world leader, or the common man or being interviewed on network television, Billy Graham has always begun his answers with “The Bible says…”
In Where I Am, Mr. Graham shares what the Bible has to say about eternity from all of its sixty-six books; messages of truth, warning, love, and the certainty of the future, all gleaned by a man who would like to be remembered solely as a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you enjoyed this guide to essential books on Billy Graham, check out our list of The 20 Best Books on Martin Luther King, Jr!