Thousands of mourners from different walks of life filed past the casket bearing the body of renowned evangelist Billy Graham on a cold Monday morning in Charlotte, NC.
The mourners came out in large numbers to pay their last respects to their local lad who fought all odds to become the most renowned preacher in the modern world. This event marked the beginning of a week of events celebrating his righteous and remarkable life.
The mourners were joined by former President George W. Bush, who described Graham as a humble man who always had the desire to help the less fortunate and spread the Gospel to every corner of the world.
The former president also said that he was honored to pay his last respect to the Graham family. He talked of Graham as a man of God who was influential in the daily lives of millions of people all over the world.
Graham’s Boyhood Home
The doors to Graham’s boyhood home opened at 8 a.m., but the viewing of the body lasted late into the night. The evangelist died on Wednesday last week at the age of 99 years. Mourners of all races and ages, young and old, walked slowly through the living room of his boyhood home where the closed casket containing his body lay on a black pedestal.
The viewers who were dressed in everything ranging from suits and ties to T-shirts waited patiently for their chance to view the body in a tearful tribute. Billy Graham’s body continued lying in repose in his hometown of Charlotte on Tuesday.
The mourners were welcomed into the parlor by Graham’s grandson, Roy, who shook the hand of every mourner who came to console the family at the difficult moments. Later on, Roy said that he did that since he wanted to inform every person who had visited their home how much he treasured the love that they had showed towards his family.
Roy Graham further stated that he was moved by how lots of people paused and informed him the precise moment and place his late grandfather changed their lives through his numerous crusades all over the world.
Charles Connor of Catawba County who was among the thousands of mourners narrated how he had to wake up at 4.00 a.m. to be among the first people to view the body. Connor, 60, said that he was delighted and blessed to have been alive during the era of Graham.
He narrated how he attended Billy Graham’s crusade in 1996 in Charlotte, accompanied with his wife and children, which marked the turning point in his life. He believes that the evangelist preached to more Christians than the 12 disciples combined.
Billy Graham’s funeral will be held on Friday, and President Donald Trump is expected to attend. Invitations have also been sent to all former US presidents. However, former President Barack Obama will not attend the funeral service for Graham, since the burial day conflicts with his schedule.
Obama tweeted on Thursday last week describing Billy Graham as a down to earth servant of God who deeply prayed for many and gave hope and direction to generations in the United States.
The family of Billy Graham has said that his burial service will be held in a giant tent as a remembrance to his 1949 LA crusade. According to Graham, it was this crusade that drove him to the global fame. Later on, the man who was famously known as the “American Pastor” would preach to over 210 million individuals in person and much more through the use of satellite TV hookups, network radio, newspaper columns, and prime-time telecasts.
Dr. Don Wilton, Graham’s pastor, said that Billy Graham’s ability to see, speak, and hear began to fail during his sunset days slowly but he insisted that Graham never lost his commitment to others. His brand of Christianity and his mission on earth has never wavered. Dr. Wilton arrived in Charlotte at 5 o’clock in the morning to pay his last tribute to his friend and dedicated man of God.
The man of God will be laid to rest beside his beloved wife, Ruth, who past away in early 2007, at Graham’s library in his hometown, Charlotte.
~ 1776 Christian