Billy Graham laid to rest and 'in the presence of God'

Billy Graham laid to rest and 'in the presence of God'

Billy Graham laid to rest and 'in the presence of God'

The setting evoked the "canvas cathedral" - two circus tents pitched together in Los Angeles in 1949 - to shelter the thousands of people who came to watch Graham preach, according to the Billy Graham Library.

Friday's funeral for the man who came to be known as America's Pastor was private, but many people were thought to have watched online, said the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

He was buried next to his wife in a memorial prayer garden at the Billy Graham Library.

As most of Graham's contemporaries have died over the years, like the gospel singer George Beverly Shea, who sang at the early Graham crusades, the guest list included relatives of his children and grandchildren.

The Rev. Billy Graham's son Franklin has delivered the main funeral message at his father's funeral service, saying that the famous evangelist was the same at home as he appeared to millions around the world.

Graham was also something of a regular at the White House, beginning during the post-World War II era, he met every president and served as counselor to several. Mr. Trump denies he's ever done so, and Graham has been quoted saying Mr. Trump has changed since then.

Graham's son Franklin delivered the eulogy at the funeral. "The Graham family has long considered that his funeral eventually would really be his last crusade".

Billy Graham died February 21 aged 99, after a lifetime spent preaching and advising presidents.

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He was writing an article on suspected links between the Italian mafia and the prime minister when he was murdered. Police broke through the houses of the seven men, who were believed to be related to Italian mafia groups.

The service features songs from gospel musicians who performed at Graham's events: Linda McCrary-Fisher, Michael W. Smith and the Gaither Vocal Band.

He praised his father for the love he had for his late mother and noted that "the Billy Graham that the world saw on television, the Billy Graham that the world saw in the big stadium was the same Billy Graham that we saw at home".

The former Newton, Kan. man was serving a life sentence at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola when Franklin saw his work. "But I think when he died, that was something very strategic from Heaven's point of view", said his daughter Anne Graham Lotz.

The private funeral service was streamed live and drew some 2,300 guests, including President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Graham, who preached to millions in person and through mass media televangelism, was being laid to rest at his Charlotte home.

Graham was a lifelong registered Democrat, and although Franklin Graham said his father had voted in the 2016 presidential election, he declined to say for whom.

"Franklin, it seems to me, has his eyes open a little wider with respect to Trumps' foibles" than Billy Graham and his wife did with Nixon, she said.

Graham's headstone will carry his name, dates of birth and death and the inscription "Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ" above the Bible reference "John 14:6".

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