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Billy GrahamAmerican Pilgrim$
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Andrew Finstuen, Grant Wacker, and Anne Blue Wills

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683528

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190683528.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

“An Odd Kind of Cross to Bear”

“An Odd Kind of Cross to Bear”

The Work of Mrs. Billy Graham, from “Pretty Wife” to “End of Construction”

Chapter:
(p.232) 10 “An Odd Kind of Cross to Bear”
Source:
Billy Graham
Author(s):

Anne Blue Wills

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190683528.003.0011

It is no understatement to say that Ruth Bell Graham significantly shaped her husband. This chapter appraises her creativity and theological vision by examining several distinctive ways that Ruth publicly served God with Billy: her direct involvement in the crusades; her editing and writing work; her public appearances and board service; and her advocacy of particular projects, such as the Cove Training Center. Moreover, media outlets regularly covered Ruth’s domestic life, endowing it with public significance. This chapter examines what Ruth represented for Billy’s followers, especially with respect to Ruth’s final public episode, the 2007 controversy over her burial place. Ruth’s life epitomizes the challenges and opportunities of being a “private woman” married to a “public man.” In exploring her impact on Billy, this chapter examines the dynamics of clergy marriages and contributes to a more historically textured story about twentieth-century marriage and gender.

Keywords:   Billy Graham, Ruth Bell Graham, Franklin Graham, marriage, gender, domestic life, marriage

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