Billy Graham’s family says the casket was made with no upgrades, and only minor modifications to allow for easy transport.
Billy Graham “preached the gospel with urgency”, his son said, knowing that everyone will eventually face God’s judgment. As a husband and father, he was no different, offering words of both encouragement and caution rooted in the bible. “It governed the way he lived and it governed the way he died”, Spartanburg Pastor Donald Wilton said as the funeral opened.
Like Graham’s famous crusades, the funeral featured singers who had shared his stage in years past: Linda McCrary-Fisher, Michael W. Smith and the Gaither Vocal Band.
“Most of his life was spent traveling the world, but last week he went on the journey he most wanted to, the journey from earth to Heaven”, he said. “I got the impression they’re reaching out toward other nations for some friend”. There were amusing moments, such as when Graham’s first child, Virginia, said she was the longest loved.
“I believe God is saying: ‘Wake up church!” Wake up, world. Wake up, Anne. I can’t be the next Billy Graham and neither can you. I will remember revival, I will remember the captivating presence of God in revival, and I will know that God can do it again.
A guiding light to generations of American evangelicals, Graham is said to have converted millions to Christianity.
Graham’s influence stretched far beyond the city where he counseled presidents and lawmakers to a global flock over the better part of seven decades. Trump said his father, Fred, “said to me, ‘Come on, son”.
The tent served as a reminder of how Mr. “The Los Angeles Crusade”, eight weeks of services, would help raise Graham to national prominence.
The invitation-only crowd of around 2,000 people included U.S. president Donald Trump and his vice-president Mike Pence.
More than 100 worldwide delegates from 50 countries were also in attendance for the service.
Air Force One landed in Charlotte shortly before 11:15 a.m.
The message of Billy Graham resonated across so many boundaries, and his integrity, character, and humility were admired by many who weren’t of the Christian faith.
But rather than lecture her or tell her, “I told you so”, Ruth Graham said her evangelist father immediately showed her the unconditional love God promises throughout Scripture. According to his doctor, Graham “just wore out”, passing peacefully in his sleep.