Virginia “Gigi” Graham, featured speaker for this year’s Prayer Brunch, presented by Knouse Foods, is the eldest daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham. She is the proud mother of seven children ranging in age from 32 to 52; the grandmother of twenty; and, the great-grandmother of four, “so far.” Her experiences as daughter of the well-known evangelist, as a mother raising seven children, and as a world traveler, living abroad in both Europe and the Middle East, have given her rich resources on which to draw for her speaking and writing ministry. Gigi has had the privilege of sharing her story at conferences, in churches, and at Christian gatherings all over the United States, Canada and in Europe. Gigi believes in being open and transparent about her faith and life experiences: the “ups” and the inevitable “downs;” the valleys as well as the mountaintops. Although she comes from a well-known Christian family, she is the first to admit that she does not “have it all together;” but, like the rest of us, she too is a work in progress. She enjoys life at home in the mountains of North Carolina, vacation time in Central Florida, and is active in ministry at The Cove Christian Conference Center in Asheville. As an award-winning author, Gigi’s titles include “Currents of the Heart,” “For Women Only: Keeping Your Balance in a Changing World,” “Passing It On” and “A Quiet Knowing.”
The Graham Family history with the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is long and rich. Family patriarch, Billy Graham, was a very popular Festival Grand Marshal in 1972. Ruth Graham is one of Billy Graham’s daughters; and, in 1993, Ruth’s daughter, Noelle Dienert, reined over the Festival as Queen Shenandoah. In 2001, Ruth Graham was the Featured Speaker at the second Festival Prayer Brunch presented by Knouse Foods. Franklin Graham is one of Billy Graham’s sons; and, in 2007, his daughter, Cissie Graham, reined over the Land of Pink and Green as Queen Shenandoah. That same year, Noelle Dienert returned to Winchester to speak at the Prayer Brunch; and, Ruth Graham returned to visit with her niece, Cissie Graham, the 2007 Queen. It is the Festival’s very pleasant understanding that Ruth Graham will be returning to Winchester this year to visit with her sister, Gigi Graham. The fact is, Bloom Nation, that they love it here as much as we do!