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Billy Graham praying

Photographed in Pittsburgh in 1968. PICTURE: Courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

 

BILLY GRAHAM: A LIFE

— 1918: Born on 7th November in Charlotte, North Carolina.

— 1934: Made personal commitment to Christ during Charlotte revival meeting.

— 1936: Earned money for college as a Fuller Brush salesman. Attended Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tennessee.

— 1937-40: Attended and graduated from Florida Bible Institute near Tampa, Florida.

— 1939: Ordained to the ministry in a Southern Baptist church in Florida.

— 1943: Graduated from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. Married Ruth McCue Bell.

— 1943-45: Pastor, First Baptist Church, Western Springs, Illinois.

— 1945-50: Charter vice president, Youth for Christ International, Chicago.

— 1947-52: President, Northwestern Schools, which included a liberal arts college, Bible school and theological seminary in Minneapolis.

— 1949: Gained national attention with Los Angeles crusade.

— 1950: Founded Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis. Began weekly Hour of Decision radio program. Began Billy Graham Films, which became World Wide Pictures in 1952.

— 1952: Started My Answer, syndicated newspaper column.

— 1956: Founded Christianity Today magazine.

— 1957: Led a New York City crusade in Madison Square Garden nightly for 16 weeks.

— 1966: Convened the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin.

— 1974: Convened the Lausanne Conference for religious leaders to develop evangelism strategies.

— 1982: Awarded Templeton Foundation Prize for Progress in Religion.

— 1989: Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame; first clergyman to receive the honor.

— 1995: His ministry transmitted a “Global Mission” evangelistic conference via satellite to 185 countries in 116 languages. His son Franklin, also an evangelist, is named eventual successor to lead Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

— 1996: Awarded Congressional Gold Medal.

— 1999: First nonmusician inducted into Gospel Music Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association.

— 2000: His ministry sponsored Amsterdam 2000, an international meeting of evangelists.

— 2002: Son Franklin Graham named president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

— 2005: Hosted dedication ceremony with son Franklin at new headquarters of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, North Carolina. Preached last New York City crusade.

— 2007: Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., opened. Ruth Graham, his wife of more than 63 years, died.

— 2018: Died on 21st February at age 99.

Source: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Religion News Service

 

Billy Graham will be buried on 2nd March at the library he established in Charlotte, North Carolina, after a funeral service under a tent similar to the one where the evangelist held his first major revival nearly 70 years ago.

The 99-year-old preacher died at 7:46am on Wednesday at his home in the mountains of Montreat, a small town on the western edge of the state in which he was born.

At a press briefing Wednesday, Mark DeMoss, a family spokesman, detailed a long list of prayer services, viewings and motorcades beginning Thursday that will culminate in Rev Graham’s burial beside his late wife, Ruth, outside the library in Charlotte.

Mr DeMoss said a tent for the service will be erected on the grounds of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, meant to resemble the one Rev Graham preached under in Los Angeles in 1949, in a revival that catapulted him into the public eye.

“We, his family and team members thought it would be fitting to also conduct his funeral service under a tent as a reminder of how his public ministry was launched,” Mr DeMoss said.

The invitation-only funeral for about 2,300 people, as well as the burial, will be private.

The events, many of which Rev Graham planned years ago, begin Thursday when his casket will be driven to the Billy Graham Training Center, also called The Cove, in Asheville.

On Friday, Rev Graham’s family - five children, 19 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren - will gather for a private family prayer service, after which his casket will be driven by motorcade to Charlotte, about 115 miles away.

Rev Graham will lie in repose there Monday and Tuesday at the Graham family homestead, which is adjacent to the Billy Graham Library. The viewing will be open to the public.

US House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that Rev Graham will be brought Wednesday to the US Capitol, where he will lie in honor in the rotunda until 1st March. He appears to be the first pastor ever honored in this way.

Inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola built Graham’s casket, made of pine and topped with a wooden cross.

The burial will be conducted by Graham’s longtime pastor, Donald Wilton of First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Rev Graham became a member of the church in 2008 and watched live feeds of the service on his television after he could no longer attend in person.

“He came to view Dr Wilton as his pastor and the two became close friends,” Mr DeMoss said, adding that Dr Wilton visited Rev Graham “almost weekly.”

High-level dignitaries are expected to attend the funeral for Graham, who befriended presidents and served as a confidant to many Oval Office occupants. Mr DeMoss said law enforcement agencies were consulted and helped plan and vet the arrangements.

Rev Graham had been in failing health since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992 and with hydrocephalus, a condition in which water collects on the brain, in 2000. Mr DeMoss said Rev Graham’s son Franklin last saw him on Sunday.

Mr DeMoss said no family member was present at Rev Graham’s death. His doctor, Lucian Rice, arrived at the home 20 minutes after his death and, according to the spokesman, said of the preacher, “He just wore out.”