Billy Graham was laid to rest at his funeral in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday, March 2. The Protestant preacher was remembered under a large white tent by friends and family and will be buried in the Prayer Garden at the Billy Graham Library next to his wife, Ruth McCue Bell, who died in June 2007.
The service started at noon and was live-streamed on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s website. The private funeral was said to be attended by around 2,300 guests, including President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Graham’s spokesperson Mark DeMoss confirmed to the Associated Press that the famed evangelist pastor died in his home in North Carolina on February 21. He was 99. “It was Mr. Graham’s explicit intent that his funeral service reflect and reinforce the gospel message he preached for more than 60 years,” his spokesman said on the website.
According to the site, the pastor preached to 215 million people who were present at one of his more than 400 Crusades, simulcasts and evangelistic rallies in more than 185 countries. He also reached his followers through TV, video, film, online and penned 34 books. Graham also served as a counselor to a dozen U.S. presidents, including Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Barack Obama.
Graham, who is known as “America’s Pastor,” had battled various illnesses toward the end of his life. He struggled with prostate cancer, pneumonia and also symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. He is survived by five children — Rev. William Franklin III, Rev. Nelson “Ned” Graham, Virginia “Gigi” Tchividjian, Anne Graham Lotz and Ruth Graham McIntyre — and they were all expected to speak at their father’s funeral.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!