Flags lowered Friday, March 2 for passing of Billy Graham

Billy Graham funeral Evangelist's children carry on crusade

Billy Graham funeral Evangelist's children carry on crusade

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.

The Rev. Franklin Graham, who now is CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, delivered the main funeral address for his father, urging mourners to accept salvation, after shorter messages from Billy Graham's three daughters and younger son.

Apart from the machinery of organisation, the mission meetings and the other public events, I was able to see something of Billy Graham in action privately as well.

"The North Korean response was the 'witch doctor from America came and performed a witch act, '" recalls Billy Kim, Graham's translator during the Seoul trip. He stood by us.

Graham's funeral service started at noon and was private, open only to 2,300 invited guests. And his life was very significant.

Anne Graham Lotz channeled her father's powerful manner of preaching, promising that she would dedicate her life to spreading the gospel as he did, saying she believed her father's death was "a shot across the bow from Heaven".

More than 2,000 people, including President Donald Trump, gathered in North Carolina Friday under a large tent reminiscent of a church revival to mourn the Rev.

The funeral planning began a decade ago with Billy Graham himself, and it also reflects his family's desire to capture the feeling of the crusades that made him the world's best-known Protestant preacher of his era.

Graham died February 21 in his sleep at his North Carolina home, his spokesman said at the time. The Bushes consider Graham to be a personal friend, but won't be able to attend the funeral. Lotz read Scripture, inserting her name into the passages to make her relationship with God more personal and breaking it down intellectually, like her father.

Ruth Graham followed her older sister and told a story of forgiveness from her father. Nixon reportedly told aides: "Don't let Billy Graham near me, I don't want him tarred with Watergate".

Graham's son, Franklin, delivered the eulogy Friday. "It's just not true". Graham so famous. It was the millions - more than 200 million, according to the tally kept by his organization - who heard him preach the Gospel around the world.

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His roots began humbly not far away.

Television host Kathie Lee Gifford, musician Ricky Skaggs and evangelist Rick Warren are among those who have come to the tent in Charlotte where the service is being held.

And while N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, was given a front row seat at Friday's funeral, numerous other invitees were prominent Republican politicians.

The funeral serves as the culmination of more than a week of tributes that included crowds lining the road for a procession from his home in the mountains to Charlotte, where Graham grew up.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton all honored Graham in 2007 when his library was dedicated.

Graham was the fourth private U.S. citizen to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol.

Graham was being buried next to his wife in a memorial prayer garden at the library, with his grandchildren serving as pallbearers.

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

Graham was the first foreigner ever to preach at Pyongyang's Bongsu Church, one of a handful of Christian foreign churches in North Korea, which human rights and religious groups accuse of being a state propagandist.

"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. The evangelist died February 21 at age 99.

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