The majority of staff and board members of East Gates Ministries International, which supports Bible publishing in China, has resigned in the past year amid controversy involving Nelson "Ned" Graham, East Gates president and the youngest of evangelist Billy Graham's five children.
During a lengthy interview with Christianity Today, Ned Graham confirmed that he had abused alcohol and spent an "inappropriate amount of time" with two women on his staff. He denied that either of those relationships involved sexual contact.
After Ned Graham replaced the board members who had resigned with his sister Ruth Graham McIntyre, brother-in-law Stephan Tchividjian, and business leader Peter Lowe, East Gates withdrew its membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Membership in ECFA requires that a majority of board members not be related by blood or marriage, which is no longer the case for East Gates.
In her own interview with CT, Carol Graham recalled the period leading to the divorce as "absolutely one of the worst times of my life." Carol Graham and the couple's two sons continue to live in the family home.
"We pray for their Daddy every night. I want the children to know that I cared about their Dad. I never stopped loving him."
East Gates appointed Graham as president in 1991, giving him full control of the fledgling ministry. For the several years under Graham's leadership, East Gates forged a new ministry frontier in China, where a rapidly growing church had an urgent need for more Bibles. The ministry recorded income of $1.1 million in 1998. (On average, not-for-profit organizations annually receive more than $350,000 in direct public support.)
In the meantime, Graham says, he became ever more dependent ...