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Most of the women entering the Westminster Presbyterian Church fellowship hall Wednesday evening came clutching copies of Ruth Graham books. Many of the ladies carried copies of Graham’s “Fear Not Tomorrow,” but there were others as well. The ladies in the fellowship hall held the books tightly and smiled.
“There is something very special about southern women,” she said upon entering the fellowship hall, and looking out at the tables where the faces of the room filled with women were all smiling at her. The event at Westminster was for women only, but Graham graciously agreed to visit with the press prior to the start of the dinner.
“I travel on I-81, but I never make the right turn (at Wytheville, Va.) to come up this way,” she said. “Franklin told me that he has been here before,” she said of her brother, Franklin Graham, chief executive officer of the Billy Graham Evangelistic association. “I’m glad to be here.”
The event at Westminster represented Graham’s first stop of a two-day visit that will include a lecture at 7:30 p.m., today at the Harman Chapel on the Bluefield College campus. Graham’s appearance will be part of BC’s “Celebration of Appalachia.” Her lecture is titled: “A Celebration of faith through music and drama.”
She said that growing up in Asheville, N.C., her home life wasn’t much different from the lives of other children, but she said that other children looked at she and her siblings like they were different. “Different is different,” she said. “It isn’t special.”
She said that she knew of her faith when she was 7, and she made her public affirmation of her faith when she was 11 years old. She said that although she has faced a myriad of challenges through her life, her faith in God has been unwavering. “He meets us when we need Him to,” she said.
Graham’s appearance at Harman Chapel tonight is free, with first-come, first-served seating.