Billy Graham to Be Permanently Commemorated in US Capitol in ‘Rare Honor’

The Rev. Billy Graham, famed evangelist and minister to presidents, is set to receive a great accolade next week as a 7-foot-tall statue will be dedicated in his honor at the U.S. Capitol, according to reports.

The state of North Carolina approved a measure back in 2015 to replace its statue of former Gov. Charles Aycock in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall with one dedicated to Graham, who was born in the city of Charlotte in the Tar Heel State. But the plans have been stalled for years, The Charlotte Observer reported last year.

Graham died in 2018.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association told Fox News on Monday that the long-awaited statue will finally be placed in the Capitol.

“It’s a rare honor,” the organization said.

The outlet reported the statue will be unveiled on the morning of May 16.

The commanding sculpture was created by North Carolina artist Chas Fagan and portrays Graham gesturing toward an open Bible, according to Fox News.

The bronze was cast at Carolina Bronze Sculpture, a foundry in Seagrove, North Carolina, while the base was made of Salisbury granite cut from a quarry in Rowan County.

The base of the statue contains Bible verses to “highlight Graham’s lifelong commitment to sharing the Gospel,” the association said.

They include John 3:16 (“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”) and John 14:6 (“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me'”), Fox News reported.

The Rev. Franklin Graham celebrated the statue being raised in his famous father’s honor.

“This isn’t just a statue of my father — it represents the One that he surrendered his life to and the message that he preached for more than 80 years, that God loves us and He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins,” he told Fox News via email.

“What I appreciate most is that this is an opportunity for everyone in future generations who sees the statue to be reminded of God’s love, grace and forgiveness,” Graham continued.

“This is a great honor and my father would be humbled and grateful,” he added. “At the same time, he would not want the attention on himself but on God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Billy Graham, who died at 99 years of age, dedicated some 80 years of his life to his ministry and preached the Gospel to more than 215 million people across six continents — the most ever reached by a single Christian minister.

He also counseled 12 sitting U.S. presidents, starting with Harry Truman, as well as many world leaders.

“The legacy of Rev. Billy Graham is based on his simple message of forgiveness based on John 3:16,” Republican North Carolina Sen. Ted Budd told Fox News.

“He was the first private citizen from North Carolina to lie in honor in the United States Capitol and his likeness should stand in the U.S. Capitol forever,” Budd said.

Graham has received several honors from the federal government.

In 1996, he and his wife, Ruth, received a Congressional Gold Medal.

When he died in 2018, he became one of only four private citizens to be laid in state at the Capitol.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

 

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