Billy Graham laid to rest and 'in the presence of God'

Saul Bowman
March 6, 2018

It will be held under a canvas tent emblematic of Graham's 1949 Los Angeles revival that marked his breakthrough as an evangelist.

Friday's funeral for the man who came to be known as America's Pastor was private, but many people were thought to have watched online, said the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

The 90-minute funeral was scheduled to also include remarks from Graham's five adult children and pastors from the South and around the world.

"My father preached on heaven, told millions how to find heaven, he wrote a book on heaven and today he's in heaven", said Franklin Graham.

Exit polls showed that about 80 percent of white evangelical voters voted for the Trump-Pence ticket - the largest vote for a Republican presidential candidate since 2004, when such voters overwhelmingly chose President George W. Bush by a margin of 78 percent to 21 percent.

He added: "There weren't two Billy Grahams".

Billy Graham's children have remembered "America's Pastor" as a man living his life at home as he preached it in stadiums, with a personable humility and an unwavering focus on his faith.

Crews closed the Billy Graham Parkway on Thursday night ahead of the funeral.

Billy Graham died last week, he was 99. During his life, Billy Graham's ministry and crusades are reported to have impacted over 215 million people in almost 200 countries.

The service featured songs from gospel musicians who performed at Graham's events: McCrary-Fisher, Michael W. Smith and the Gaither Vocal Band.

"What he would say, according to Franklin Graham, was, "'I'm not afraid to die for I know the joys of heaven are waiting'".

Dr. Chip Pollard, president of John Brown University attended the service in Charlotte, N.C. The service was also attended by national leaders, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Bob Zook said what he valued most about Graham was “the unbridled joy he had, the joy he had in delivering the Word.”. "And that's what my grandmother loved about, that we all need forgiveness", said Roy Graham in the video his father shared.

"It doesn't matter", because the election is over, Franklin Graham said in an interview earlier this week.

"Franklin, it seems to me, has his eyes open a little wider with respect to Trumps' foibles" than Billy Graham and his wife did with Nixon, she said.

The casket was a simple wooden box that was constructed by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Graham will be laid to rest next to his late wife Ruth, at the foot of a cross-shaped brick walkway in the library's prayer garden.

The service is the culmination of a week of mourning that included Graham lying in honor at the U.S. Capitol rotunda in Washington. Officials expect about 200 family members to attend the interment, which will be closed to the public and media. The grave marker reads: "Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ".

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