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October 11, 2013

Billy Graham's Original Sermons Now Available at the BGC Archives

More than six decades of sermon manuscripts by Rev. Billy Graham are now available worldwide to clergy, laypeople, scholars, and the general public via the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.

Rev. Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham and vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), announced the availability of the collection during today's chapel service in Edman Memorial Chapel.

Billy Graham, perhaps the most internationally renowned evangelist of the 20th century, is a 1943 graduate of Wheaton College. Graham gave copies of the sermon texts to the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College, and, with the BGEA, requested that the collection be open to the public.

“Receiving these sermons and opening them to the public in our Reading Room and online is a monumental milestone,” said Billy Graham Center interim executive director Paul Ericksen. “A major part of Rev. Graham’s legacy will be his simple, impassioned plea for people to commit themselves to Jesus Christ. These sermons will continue to make that plea. They are a resource that researchers have sought for decades – now they will be available to everyone worldwide.”

The staff of the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College has been digitizing, copying, and microfilming the sermons since the fall of 2010. The sermon collection includes 3,760 typescripts on more than 67,000 pages that fill 31 boxes at the BGC Archives.

The earliest sermon is from 1941 and the latest from 2006. Many of the typed manuscripts contain Graham’s handwritten notes, underlinings, and other marks to assist in his delivery of them. More than half are evangelistic messages preached by Graham during campaigns; others are sermons and speeches given at banquets, civic occasions, anniversaries, conventions, weddings, and funerals.

In addition to these typed sermon outlines, the collection also contains a set of sermon transcripts made from audio recordings by the BGEA staff. These transcripts include nearly all of the sermons Graham preached at evangelistic crusades and other special events from 1949  through 2003. They fill an additional 58 boxes in the BGC Archives collection.

Digital, paper and microfilm copies of the entire collection are available in the Reading Room of the BGC Archives, and digital copies of the sermon outlines are targeted to be available online by the end of the year on the BGC Archives website. The guide to the sermons is available online at wheaton.edu/grahamsermons.

The Billy Graham Center exists to accelerate global evangelism. More information about the Center is available at wheaton.edu/bgc.