“Cliff Barrows Tribute: A Singing Faith” will provide Library visitors with a fascinating glimpse of one of Billy Graham’s closest friends and ministry partners. Barrows began his association with Billy Graham at a 1945 Youth for Christ rally in Western North Carolina. Only one other living person, Crusade soloist George Beverly Shea (now 101 years old) has served in ministry with Mr. Graham longer.
“God used amazing circumstances to bring them together. Not only was a dynamic ministry partnership formed, but a close friendship began that has now lasted over 60 years,” said Diane Wise, Promotions Manager for the Billy Graham Library. “I can’t wait for people to find out how he truly has – and does – impact lives through his music ministry.”
Barrows has been responsible for music at Billy Graham Crusades since their beginning in 1947. He has directed choirs all over the world, some numbering in the thousands. For his significant contributions to Gospel music, Mr. Barrows was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1988 and into the National Religious Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame in 1996.
Among the items at the Tribute, visitors can expect to see:
- Barrows’ trombone, which he played at Youth for Christ meetings in the 1940s
- His old microphone from broadcasts of The Hour of Decision, a radio program that began in 1950
- A set of comic books that were given out at the youth meetings in 1951
- Early campaign and Crusade songbooks
- Albums, awards, photos and letters
“It has been such an honor to delve into Mr. Barrows’ background to find out what motivated him and gave him such a heart for evangelical music. It’s clear that his goal was, and is, to prepare hearts for worship and to hear what God is saying to them,” said Wise.
“He not only led the choirs and audiences in song; he taught them why they were even singing these songs in the first place. He is one of the most humble men you’ll ever meet, and my hope is that our visitors will get to know him a little better when they experience this special tribute.”