Under a billowing white tent in North Carolina, Christian leaders and close friends said goodbye to ‘America’s pastor’, the Rev. Billy Graham, during a private funeral service.
The 28,000-square-foot tent was reminiscent of the ‘canvas cathedral’ in which the Southern Baptist preacher conducted his 1949 Los Angeles Crusade that propelled him onto the national stage. The tent blocked the windy weather for 2,000 invited guests who had gathered in front of the Billy Graham Library for the service.
Rev. Graham died on February 21 at his home in Montreat. He was 99.
At the funeral – what his family dubbed his “last crusade” – Rev. Graham was remembered as a tireless preacher of the Gospel and America’s best-known Christian evangelist.
In the tradition of his revival-style crusades, speakers also used the occasion to repeat Rev. Graham’s call for people to repent and to accept Jesus Christ.
“My father’s greatest longing is granted,” said Franklin Graham, the late evangelist’s oldest son and head of the family’s worldwide ministry, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.
“He delivered his sermon from the pulpit Rev. Graham once used at his famous crusades. “Today he’s in heaven. His journey is complete.”