America’s Pastor Laid to RestBy Susie Adams
In February, Charlotte roads were lined with people as Reverend Billy Graham made his final pilgrimage to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. Hours before his hearse made its way down the Billy Graham Parkway and other Charlotte streets, people were in place with chairs and blankets, awaiting the procession, poised to pay their respects.
He Was America’s Pastor
A native of Charlotte, Graham preached for over seven decades across America and internationally. He began his ministry with tent revivals, but he was the first TV evangelist with his crusades broadcast via TV.
He was a spiritual counselor and advisor to many, including Presidents who travelled to Charlotte to pay their respects.
He laid in state at the nation’s capital, one of few civilians to receive that honor. He was America’s pastor.
A Celebration of Life & Christianity
Graham, who died at 99, had been in poor health for several years. He planned every detail of his funeral. Over two thousand attendees celebrated his life under a tent at the Library; the tent reminiscent of Graham’s early day tent revivals. His son, Franklin Graham, delivered the eulogy from a pulpit used by his father in his crusades in the 1990s. The elder Graham picked every song. The service was more about Christianity than Billy Graham. And the service had a celebratory tone.
Simple & Substantial
Graham was laid to rest beside his wife, Ruth, in a prison made wooden casket on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library. A simple end to a life that was anything but simple.
But Graham’s message was a simple one, a key part of his substantial appeal. These quotes from Graham about heaven reflect his simple message and the power of that message.“The most thrilling thing about heaven is that Jesus Christ will be there. I will see Him face to face. Jesus Christ will meet us at the end of life’s journey.”
“Heaven doesn’t make this life less important; it makes it more important.”
“The Bible says that as long as we are here on Earth, we are strangers in a foreign land. There are enemies to be conquered before we return home. This world is not our home; our citizenship is in heaven.”
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