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Interview with Margaret Meares

Meares, Margaret
Perry, Morgan and Echols, Emma
Date of Interview: 
Religious conversion; Religious salvation; Religious revivals; Religion-Southern.
Ms. Meares recalls the evening that Rev. Billy Graham answered the altar call at Mordecai Ham`s revival in Charlotte, NC. A family friend of the Graham`s, Ms. Meares describes Mrs. Morrow Coffey Graham, the mother of Rev. Billy Graham. She also provides more general information regarding religious revivals in the South.
Charlotte, 1930s
Interview Setting: 
Interviewed at Sharon Towers, Charlotte, N.C.
Levine Museum of the New South, Billy Graham Series
Interview Audio: 
Note: Sound recording for this interview available in Special Collections, Atkins Library.
MP (Morgan Perry): This is Morgan Perry, and I am with Mrs. Margaret Meares at Sharon Towers on May 2nd, 1996. Mrs. Meares has a story to tell us about Billy Graham. Mrs. Meares, you were at the revival where Billy Graham came forward?
MM (Margaret Meares): How`s that?
MP: Were you at the revival where Billy Graham came forward?
MM: Yes.
MP: Could you tell us about what you remember about being there?
MM: Well, I just remember that he came up. And as I was telling her, my husband and Billy Graham were good, Billy Graham`s father were good friends. They did things together. [Laughter]
MP: And that`s how you knew it was him when he went up to the front?
MM: Well, I just knew it was him. [Laughter] I don`t know how. [Laugher] You see, we had the things to go back to Seneca, South Carolina. See, my--. That`s where my hus-my brother, that`s where he got where he was--. It`s hard to keep up with all of them, [Laugher] keep up with all of them, you know. He`s dead. As I say, my husband, my husband and Billy`s folks were real good friends, and they did things which made it nice.
EE (Emma Echols): Did, did you know her mother? Did you know Mrs. Graham, Billy Graham`s mother?
MM: Yes.
EE: What was she like?
MM: Well, she was just a mighty nice sweet person. [Laughter]
EE: In one of his books, the story is that, that that night at the meeting the preacher said, "There`s a great sinner in the auditorium tonight." And Billy said to Grady Wilson, his friend, said, "My mother must have be telling him about me, [Laughter] because I`m a great sinner." And then the two of them went forward. Did you notice both of them going in together?
MM: Uh-huh.
EE: Was there a more, more than Billy, those two? Were there lots of people going forward that night?
MP: Did you go to the revival by yourself or with your family?
MM: Beg your pardon?
MP: When you went to see Dr. Ham at the revival, did you go with your family?
MM: Yes, my husband and I
MP: Went together?
MM: went. I guess, I guess maybe my daughter did too, then. [Laughter]
MP: And it was outside?
MM: No, my daughter has been here. She just left. She was in this week. She just left late yesterday afternoon.
MP: And was the revival--. Did it go on outside? Was it out--? The revival, was it outside or was it inside a church?
EE: Or was it in? (Some of them have them) in the church.
MM: No. Some of it, some of it was out, outside and some of it was in, in the church. You know, it`s hard to keep up with all of those little details. [Laughter]
EE: Well I think you are doing wonderful. You`ve got some good memories and--. And are you planning to go to the revival here, the crusade, or are you going to watch it on TV?
MM: I, I expect I`ll go to some of it (you know). [Laughter]
MP: Well, thank you.