The original family house of the late evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham was put up for sale in Montreat this week for $599,000.
It’s the first and only property owned by the Graham family that entered the real estate market, according to Florida-based agency Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, which is marketing the house.
A Charlotte native, Graham was one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. He died at age 99 in February 2018 in Montreat.
Graham and his late wife, Ruth Bell Graham, purchased the house at 198 Mississippi Road in the late 1940s. It’s a four-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage with two levels of living space. Within walking distance of the house is the Montreat Conference Center and Montreat College.
The family lived in the house during the years that Graham made his name as “America’s Pastor.” In 1949, Graham attracted national attention during a series of revival meetings in Los Angeles.
“It is where it all began,” said Ruth Graham, the third child of Graham, in a statement to Premier Sotheby’s. Ruth Graham is the one who put the home up for sale.
Location, location, location
According to Ruth Graham, her parents selected the house for its location.
Right across the street was her grandparents’ house, and her uncle by marriage still lives there. Montreat is outside of Asheville and about two hours northwest of Charlotte.
Ruth Graham was born in the house in 1950 and owned the house before she decided to sell it. Since the summer of 2019, the house has served as a vacation rental on VRBO.
As for why she is selling the house now, the 71-year-old Ruth Graham told Premier Sotheby’s, “I have a gravely ill daughter that needs serious and expensive medical attention. I feel it is always better to be upfront with things like that.”
Home in Charlotte
Another of Graham’s homes resides right in Charlotte.
The evangelist’s childhood home was restored as part of the Billy Graham Library complex near Billy Graham Parkway off of Westmont Drive in South Charlotte. The 40,000-square-foot library showcases collections of photos and historical records documenting Graham’s life.
In over 55 years of ministry, Graham preached his Gospel message to more than 215 million people in over 185 countries, according to the library. He also served as a confidante to a number of presidents.
Last year, the $14 million Billy Graham Archive and Research Center broke ground near the library. It is dedicated for researchers to study historical archives from the late preacher.