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How Communities are Mourning America’s Pastor Billy Graham

by | Mar 1, 2018 | For Families

a Young Billy Graham giving a speech

Reverend Billy Graham, the renowned evangelist, passed away last week at the age of 99. Graham was arguably the most influential preacher of the 20th century, with his television broadcasts reaching more than 215 million people across the world.

As the news of Rev. Billy Graham’s passing spread, communities across the nation immediately started planning memorial services to honor the evangelist.

Thousands Gather for Procession

As Graham’s body was transferred to lay in repose at his boyhood home in North Carolina, thousands gathered along the interstate to watch the procession drive by and to pay their respects.

There was a viewing open to the public earlier this week, until Wednesday when Graham was transferred to the U.S. Capitol to lie in honor until his funeral service, which is set for Friday. Graham will be the fourth public individual to ever receive such an honor.

Presidents Respond to Graham’s Legacy

Graham, who gave spiritual counsel to every president dating back to Harry Truman, received condolences from both current and past presidents.

Hundreds of other public figures also took to Twitter to express their condolences. Below are some of the things they had to say.

Funeral Service

Graham’s funeral service will be a private ceremony at the Billy Graham library, with an estimated 2,300 people in attendance. According to WYFF-Greenville, Graham will “be laid to rest at the foot of a cross-shaped walkway, buried in a simple prison-made plywood coffin next to his wife, Ruth, who died in 2007. His coffin was built by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, who typically construct caskets for fellow prisoners who cannot afford one.”

Funeral Homes Plan Memorial Services

Several funeral homes are planning their own memorial services to honor the late Rev. Graham. Below are a few examples:

As the nation mourns the loss of the iconic pastor and evangelist, here are some words from Billy Graham himself:

“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”


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