Funeral details announced for Rev. Billy Graham - FOX Carolina 21

Funeral details announced for Rev. Billy Graham

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Rev. Billy Graham (Source: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) Rev. Billy Graham (Source: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
Billy Graham and wife Ruth (Source: Associated Press) Billy Graham and wife Ruth (Source: Associated Press)
Rev. Billy Graham and his personal pastor Dr. Don Wilton (Source: Dr. Wilton) Rev. Billy Graham and his personal pastor Dr. Don Wilton (Source: Dr. Wilton)
Rev. Billy Graham on his 95th birthday (file/FOX Carolina) Rev. Billy Graham on his 95th birthday (file/FOX Carolina)
MONTREAT, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Reverend Billy Graham preached to more people on more continents than any other minister. He was known as America's preacher, preaching to millions over the years, including several presidents.

He passed away on Feb. 21, 2018 at his home, right up the road in the western North Carolina, at the age of 99.

William “Billy” Franklin Graham Jr. was born Nov. 7, 1918 in Charlotte. Graham was the son of dairy farmers who were strict Presbyterians. He became bored with Presbyterian rules and at 16, Graham became a Southern Baptist after hearing his first evangelical message.

Graham attended several different Christian colleges, including Bob Jones University. He eventually graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, which is where he met his wife Ruth.

Ruth and Billy had five children. The family lived mostly in Montreat, NC, while Graham traveled.

SLIDESHOW: Photos of Billy Graham's family, friends

The reverend began preaching at The Village Church in Western Springs, IL. That is where he first took his message to a broader audience. His first radio program was called “Songs in the Night.”

Graham became president of Northwestern College. And after a few years, he became a full time evangelist and worked for an organization that focused on teenagers.

In 1949, Graham got his first taste of what was to come with a revival in Los Angeles. He would go on to pack out stadiums, parks and entire streets in New York City and across the globe.

SLIDESHOW: Photos from ministry of the Rev. Billy Graham

Graham’s first crusade was in London in 1959. He would continue the crusades for decades. One service in South Korea attracted more than a million people.

His other important work would be with our country's leaders. Graham became known as the pastor to presidents. He had close relationships with presidents from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama.

Hilary Clinton said Graham was who she leaned on during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

SLIDESHOW: Photos of Billy Graham with U.S. presidents

And Graham didn't shy away from scandal. He befriended Martin Luther King Jr. at the height of the segregated south and refused to visit South Africa during apartheid. Graham was the first evangelist to speak behind the iron curtain during the Cold War.

When he wasn't speaking, Graham spent a lot of his time writing. He wrote more than 30 books, his final "The Reason for Hope: Salvation" was released in 2013.

He also delivered his final television message in 2013 at the age of 95. Donald Trump, who had not yet been elected president, and wife Melania were present for Graham's birthday celebration.

SLIDESHOW: Billy Graham's 95th Birthday Celebration

Graham’s wife Ruth died in 2007, just days after she turned 87. They were married for almost 64 years. When Ruth passed away, Graham issued a statement saying, "I cannot imagine living a single day without her by my side.”

Reverend Graham will be buried beside Ruth at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte in the prayer garden. Their final resting places are located at the foot of a cross-shaped brick pathway on the northeast side of the library.

Graham's remains are being moved on Saturday after a private prayer service at The Cove to the Billy Graham Library, where he will lie in repose through Tuesday.

On Monday and Tuesday between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., a line will be open to the public who can say goodbye. Graham's casket will remain closed while he lies in repose.

During this period, no public parking will be available on site. Guests are asked to park at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center on Forest Point Boulevard and the Charlotte Business Valet Lot 2 on Wilkinson Boulevard. Complementary shuttles will be provided continually, with the last shuttle departing at 9:30 p.m. each night.

According to Speaker Paul Ryan, Graham's body will then be moved to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1.

Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a letter to Franklin Graham asking for his approval of the viewing. 

In the letter, Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell said:

“In recognition of Rev. Graham’s long and distinguished service to the nation, it is our intention to ask the House of Representatives and the Senate to permit that his remains lie in honor in the Rotunda of the Capitol. With your approval, we will move forward with these arrangements, so that Americans have this opportunity to pay their respects to Rev. Graham before he is laid to rest.”

Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell announced a bicameral service will be held upon the arrival of Rev. Graham's casket. 

Graham will be laid to rest on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 12 p.m., during a private service in a tent in the main parking lot of the Billy Graham Library. Organizers say it’s fitting to conduct his funeral service under a tent as a reminder of how his public service was launched.

Six members of Rev. Graham's Montreat staff will transport the casket while on the property of The Cove. 

His 12 grandsons will serve as pallbearers in Charlotte on Saturday. 

The service will be invite-only, and the public has been asked not to reach out for information on how to receive tickets. 

The funeral message will be given by Franklin Graham, and some of Graham's siblings will also speak.

FULL COVERAGE: Life and ministry of Rev. Billy Graham

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