By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
For those of you who live within driving distance of Charlotte, NC or are interested in the ministry and history of the Billy Graham ministry, I'd like to tell you about Christmas at the Billy Graham Museum. The outside of the museum is built in the shape of a barn and looks like a renovated farm, obviously to represent the Graham farm.
It's a free and wonderful experience for the whole family everyday after 5 PM except on Saturdays. They offer free horseback carriage rides on the estate. The lines can get pretty long and it is on a first come, first serve basis. Last year it was cold and we let my father-in-law sit inside where it is warm because of his health. When we were getting close to being next, my husband went to get him. I only mention this as an alternative for the elderly or disabled. We brought those self-heating coffees and those kept us quite warm and so I would recommend it, although you can buy coffee or hot cocoa inside, as well as eat dinner.
They also give every family a free Christmas keepsake ornament. You can visit the Billy Graham farm house where Billy grew up to age nine. His father built the home in the 1920's and they have it decorated with furniture and appliances as it was back then. Please be aware that only the first floor is available for touring, but I still thought it was worth the visit. The photo to the left is the outside image of the house, which has been relocated to this spot. The original site was on Park Road, a few miles south of this location.
There is also a bookstore and a museum you can tour, as well as a live nativity scene outside, including a live camel and donkey. It's lit up and looks beautiful in contrast to the darkness. The photo to the right was taken by my phone camera. If you look closely you can see the camel sitting down on the grass in front of the nativity scene. You can also walk a short brick trail to the garden and where a monument is located.
The Billy Graham Museum
The Billy Graham Library