Rev. Dr. Billy Graham passed away at the age of 99. He truly was “America’s Pastor.”
I don’t think we will see as godly a man as Dr. Graham again in my lifetime. His message was clear and to the point: Jesus came, died, rose again, and asks each individual to repent of their sins and receive him by faith as one’s only Lord and Savior. He proclaimed this message powerfully and with a gracious southern accent.
I heard Dr. Graham speak live several times. Once, many years ago at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida, I took a group of young people to see him and hear his salvation message. The stadium was so packed that even though we arrived an hour before the crusade we had to watch the whole event in the parking lot through a huge projection screen. Back then that was high-tech stuff—watching a live event via a jumbotron was an event in and of itself. More people attended that revival meeting than attended a Superbowl!
Dr. Graham’s body will be taken from Asheville to Charlotte today at 11:25 am, Saturday, in a procession expected to take 3 ½ hours and ending at the Billy Graham Library at 2:20 PM.
His body will lie in repose Monday and Tuesday (Feb 26, 27) in his Charlotte home where Graham grew up, which was moved from its original location to the grounds of the Billy Graham Library. To view the closed casket of such a powerful spiritual leader as Dr. Graham is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Library will be closed until March 5th, so you’ll have to schedule visiting it for a later time.
There will be no on-site public parking during this period of lie in repose at the Library. All public parking will be accommodated at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center located at 7100 Forest Point Blvd., (just off I-77) a few miles from the Billy Graham Library and at the Charlotte Business Valet, Lot 2 at 5807 Wilkinson Blvd. Complimentary public shuttle buses will run continually from these lots to and from the Graham Family Homeplace. The shuttles will run from 8 AM to 9:30 PM. The last shuttle will depart the parking lot 30 minutes before the public lie in repose closes. You can find a public visitation guide on the Library’s website here.
A private funeral service will be held on Friday, March 2nd. Mr. Graham will be buried beside his wife, Ruth, at the foot of the cross-shaped brick walkway in the Prayer Garden, on the northeast side of the Billy Graham Library.The funeral is private so you won’t be able to attend. However, the grave site will be made available to the public shortly after his internment.
President Trump tweeted last Wednesday, soon after Dr. Graham’s passing was reported, “The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.” I can’t think of anyone living today that I would like to honor after their death than such a godly and humble man as Dr. Graham. In many ways, he has been a model for me as a young minister, especially his high moral commitment to financial integrity and faithfulness to his wife (Ruth).
We need to pray that God will raise up another who can win the hearts and minds of our nation and who can gain the attention of millions all over the world encouraging them to confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I thank God for blessing our nation with such a leader who was not ashamed of the gospel or to bring the name of Jesus to the highest authorities of power around the globe (Rom 1:16).