The Rev. Billy Graham Laid To Rest Friday In Simple Casket

Randolph Lopez
March 6, 2018

Under a large white tent evoking her father's "Canvas Cathedral" revival almost seven decades ago, Anne Graham Lotz urged the Church, the world, and herself to "wake up!" as she joined her siblings and some 2,000 others at the funeral of her iconic evangelist father, Billy Graham, in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday.

After the service at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, the globetrotting preacher and spiritual confidant to American presidents will be buried beside his wife, Ruth, at the foot of the cross-shaped brick walkway in the library's Prayer Garden. "The Los Angeles Crusade", eight weeks of services, would help raise Graham to national prominence.

The funeral message was delivered by Rev. Franklin Graham, one of Billy Graham's sons, who also serves as president and CEO of the BGEA and Samaritan's Purse.

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. Mr. Trump denies he's ever done so, and Graham has been quoted saying Mr. Trump has changed since then. Graham, who spent a decade planning his own funeral, wanted the message to be delivered beneath a tent because that's how his crusades began in the late 1940s.

"Looking back, I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn't do that now", Billy Graham told Christianity Today in 2011.

The service features songs from gospel musicians who performed at Graham's events: McCrary-Fisher, Michael W. Smith and the Gaither Vocal Band. But I think when he died that was something very strategic from Heaven's point of view", said his daughter Anne Graham Lotz, later adding: "I believe God is saying: 'Wake up church!

The President and Vice-President Mike Pence both attended the funeral service alongside their wives, but did not speak at the service.

"The Billy Graham that the world saw on TV, and in the big stadiums, is the same Billy Graham we saw at home".

People gathered at First Baptist Spartanburg Friday to watch Rev. Billy Graham's funeral
People gathered at First Baptist Spartanburg Friday to watch Rev. Billy Graham's funeral

Rev. Graham was brought home to Charlotte Thursday after he lay in honor inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda Wednesday.

Graham was a lifelong registered Democrat, and although Franklin Graham said his father had voted in the 2016 presidential election, he declined to say for whom.

"I remember we would take walks together along mountain trails above his log home in Montreat", Graham said.

Graham's headstone will carry his name, dates of birth and death and the inscription "Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ" above the Bible reference "John 14:6".

His simple casket was made by inmates at the Louisiana State Prison.

"As I got out of the auto", Graham said.

Billy Graham's family says the casket was made with no upgrades, and only minor modifications to allow for easy transport.

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