Bill Clinton pays respects at Billy Graham's public viewing in C - FOX Carolina 21

Bill Clinton pays respects at Billy Graham's public viewing in Charlotte

Posted: Updated:
Bill Clinton and Franklin Graham stands over Billy Graham's casket (Pool feed) Bill Clinton and Franklin Graham stands over Billy Graham's casket (Pool feed)
George and Laura Bush at the Billy Graham Library. (Feb. 26, 2018/FOX Carolina) George and Laura Bush at the Billy Graham Library. (Feb. 26, 2018/FOX Carolina)
Billy Graham (File/ FOX Carolina) Billy Graham (File/ FOX Carolina)
Former Pres. Bill Clinton (left) and Billy Graham (Source: Billy Graham Evangelical Assn.) Former Pres. Bill Clinton (left) and Billy Graham (Source: Billy Graham Evangelical Assn.)
CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Thousands of people and two former US presidents have traveled to Charlotte, NC to pay their respects to the Rev. Billy Graham.

The public is invited to pay tribute to the Rev. Billy Graham on Monday and Tuesday as “America’s Pastor” lies in repose at the Graham Family Homeplace, which is located on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library.

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush were among the mourners to pay their respects on Monday afternoon. The couple arrived at the homeplace around 3:30 p.m. and met with Franklin Graham.

After paying their respects to the reverend, George Bush spoke briefly to the media.

"If there's such a thing as a humble shepherd of the Lord, Billy Graham is that person," Bush said. "God bless Billy Graham."

Bush said he was representing his family as his father, former President George H.W. Bush, was unable to travel to be there.

Former President Bill Clinton visited on Tuesday.

After paying his respects and visiting with the Graham family, Clinton spoke about seeing Billy Graham for the first time at a Crusade in Arkansas when he was 11 years old, and how the evangelist refused to preach to a segregated crowd.

"For me, every time I think about him, I feel like I’m 11 again," Clinton said. He said he next time he saw Graham was during his time as governor of Arkansas and then again in the White House. 

"He was a profoundly good man who conveyed simple beliefs that we can claim kinship with God by asking," Clinton said.

Clinton released this official statement after Graham's passing:

Hillary and I are saddened by the passing of our friend Billy Graham, one of the most important religious leaders in American history. His powerful words and the conviction they carried touched countless hearts and minds.

I will never forget the first time I saw him, 60 years ago in Little Rock, during the school integration struggle. He filled a football stadium with a fully integrated audience, reminding them that we all come before God as equals, both in our imperfection and our absolute claim to amazing grace.

Later as Governor, in the White House, and afterward, I saw him live that faith fully in the constant kindness, encouragement, and counsel he extended to Hillary and me.

Billy has finished his long good race, leaving our world a better place and claiming his place in glory.

President Trump is planning to attend the private funeral ceremony on Friday. According to the Associated Press, former President Barack Obama will not be able to attend.

WATCH LIVE: Guests pay their respects to Rev. Billy Graham

Public parking will not available at the library during the public viewing. People are asked to park at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center located at 7100 Forest Point Blvd. or at the Charlotte Business Valet Lot 2 at 5807 Wilkinson Blvd, where complimentary public shuttle buses will be running to and from the Graham Family Homeplace.

The public may see Graham’s closed casket at the Homeplace between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. The last shuttle will depart 30 minutes before the public lie in repose closes.

PHOTOS: Mourners pay respects to Billy Graham in closed-casket visitation

The public visitation guide below offers additional details.

On Wednesday, Graham’s casket will travel to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, where the reverend will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

Graham’s funeral will be held on Friday in a private ceremony. He will be buried beside his wife, Ruth, at the foot of the cross-shaped brick walkway in the Prayer Garden, on the northeast side of the Billy Graham Library.

MORE: Remembering Billy Graham

Copyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Fox Carolina
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WHNS; Greenville, SC. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.