Inside Billy Graham's Powerful Relationship With U.S. Presidents

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It was January, 2006 the first time we went to visit Billy Graham at his home in Montreat, North Carolina for several days of conversation; we returned a year later, then approached him again in the summer of 2007 after the death of Ruth, his wife of more than 60 years. By this time he was no longer giving interviews; his health was too frail, his legacy too valuable to put at risk with a confused remark. But his memory was still sharp, and his spirit strong, and there were still things he wanted to say.

At the bottom of the hill is a stone arch, with the word Montreat etched above it. The Mountain Retreat is at the end of a box canyon, a narrowing stream valley where there isn’t much room between the hills for more than a few houses, the road and a stream. Water cascades down in every direction, veining the hills.

To reach the house you must climb a dense, winding, steeply tree lined road; it’s back of the beyond, the last best place. The final piece of road ends with a weatherbeaten shingle sign reading Private Drive, then chainlink topped with barbed wire, and a set of iron gates. These were installed in 1968, at the insistence of J Edgar Hoover, who was concerned about the death threats. Before that the Grahams were content for protection with signs that said Tresspassers will be Eaten.

Read entire article at Time Magazine

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