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Trump, Pence attend Rev. Billy Graham's funeral

06 March, 2018, 01:51 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Rev. Billy Graham will be laid to rest in Charlotte on Friday

Mourners from around the world gathered Friday under a large white tent in what was described as the "last crusade" for Billy Graham, who was revered as "America's pastor" for more than six decades and counseled almost every US president since Harry Truman.

President Trump and Melania Trump sat in the front row of Graham's funeral service Friday.

Billy Graham's final resting place place is in the Billy Graham Library's Prayer Garden, beside his wife, Ruth, who died in 2007.

The Rev. Billy Graham's casket has been brought into a tent filled with mourners to start his funeral service.

And while Rev. Graham's funeral will be an A-level production for the world to see, Wilton said it took some convincing just to get the world's most well-known pastor's name spoken during the service.

Following his death at the age of 99, Graham became the fourth private citizen in USA history to lie in repose in the United States Capitol building, where President Trump paid tribute to him as "an ambassador for Christ who reminded the world of the power of prayer and the gift of God's grace".

Another of Graham's favorite hymns, "Because He Lives" was performed by the Gaither Vocal Band during the service.

Trump said Wednesday that as a boy he saw Graham preach one of a series of sermons at Yankee Stadium in 1957, the closing rally of the New York Crusade.

He also said his father believed in Heaven and has now gone on the journey that he'd been "looking forward to all of his life".

The Rev. Franklin Graham will deliver the main funeral address for his father after personal messages from Billy Graham's three daughters and younger son.

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.

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.

Graham, who preached to millions in person and through mass media televangelism, was being laid to rest at his Charlotte home.

A rare tribute was paid to Graham earlier this week when he became the first religious leader to lie "in honor" at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington.

The pine casket lined with a mattress pad was made by prisoners at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.

Pollard said members of Graham's world ministry were also present.

Graham died last week at age 99.

Graham's headstone will read: "Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ". President Donald Trump is expected to attend, but isn't scheduled to speak.

Franklin Graham, Billy's son, said on Twitter, the casket was made by a convicted murderer named Richard "Grasshopper" Liggett.


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