Local religious leaders react to Rev. Billy Graham's death

Remembering The Rev. Billy Graham Billy GrahamUS evangelist Billy Graham at home
Remembering The Rev. Billy Graham Billy GrahamUS evangelist Billy Graham at home

23 February, 2018

Graham knew how to talk to presidents, having been the confidant of a lot of them from Truman to Obama.

Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in North Carolina.

"I always admired him for that", Armistead said. Although ordained as a pastor in the Southern Baptist Church, Graham crossed many denominational lines.

To those who saw him - at a crusade, on television, or face to face - there was something that set Reverend Billy Graham apart.

"I had to sort of slap myself to really just speak to him and be involved with him in that instance", he said. "He was a real quality individual".

Graham first went to the White House in 1954, an audience with president Truman but it did not go well. His appearance at Legion Field wasn't long after the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church.

When Mr Paisley passed away in September 2014, Mr Graham's son Franklin - president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - described the unionist leader as "a powerful politician and a towering figure in the Northern Irish peace process".

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Boone said he and Graham lamented the fact schools have been somewhat forced to shun organized prayer because people may be offended.

"Sometimes when I'm working on a sermon I'll think of him when I look at what I've written and think what there's probably a simpler and more straight way of saying this", he said.

It's no exaggeration to say thousands of Americans have come to Christ through his preaching. Approximately 2,300 people will be invited to attend the 90-minute service.

But Graham's impact extended well beyond his audiences, even to other pastors.

Graham will lie in repose Monday and Tuesday at the Graham Family Homeplace at the Billy Graham Library. Before he visited a city he would send in teams, sometimes months in advance. That's high praise from an organization that rejects all that lay at the core of Graham's life, work and faith.

"Fifty years from now, those who remember would have to remember a man of great integrity, and a man with one message: that God loves you, and Christ was provided to save you", Shea said.

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