The CIU Link between Cliff Barrows and Billy Graham

November 18, 2016

Cliff Barrows, longtime song leader, program director and friend of The Reverend Billy Graham, passed away on Nov. 15 at the age of 93. Many are unfamiliar with how the two met, and the Columbia International University connection to that meeting.  

It happened at the Ben Lippen Conference Center near Asheville, North Carolina where Graham was scheduled to speak in the early days of his ministry. The Conference Center was owned by CIU, then called Columbia Bible College (CBC). CBC’s first president Robert C. McQuilkin was with Graham on a day when Graham’s scheduled song leader was unavailable. The rest as they say is history – recorded in the archives of Ben Lippen, today a Pre-K to 12th grade Christian school ministry of CIU. Here is the story of the Graham/Barrows meeting.