Seventy years ago, Billy Graham married Ruth McCue Bell in Montreat, N.C. In “Just As I Am,” Billy recalls the day:
Ruth’s parents had moved from Virginia to a house on the Presbyterian conference grounds at Montreat, North Carolina, just east of Asheville. We were married there in August, on the night of Friday the thirteenth, with a full moon in the sky. In Gaither Chapel at eight-thirty in the evening, amid candles and clematis, my beloved Florida mentor, Dr. John Minder, pronounced us husband and wife. Dr. Kerr Taylor, close friend of the Bells and former missionary to China, assisted him in the ceremony. Sophie Graham (no relation), a missionary from Haichow, China, played the piano and accompanied Roy Gustafson in two solos before the ceremony. Andrew Yang from Chinkiang, China, sang two solos during the service. All the details took up two columns on the social-news page of the Asheville paper; that was because Dr. Bell was well known in the area. It was the most memorable day of my life.”
Looking back at his wedding day Billy recalled thinking that he could not have imagined loving Ruth any more than he did that day, yet as time went on he realized that he loved her more with each passing day. “I love her because of her soul, her spirit and because of the real Ruth that lives within.”
Happy anniversary, Billy and Ruth!