Famed evangelist Billy Graham will lie in honor at the US Capitol next week, making him the fourth private citizen to receive the tribute. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that the world-renowned preacher and spiritual counselor to American presidents will lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, February 28 and Thursday, March 1. After Graham’s casket arrives at the Capitol, Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will take part in a service. Graham’s son, Rev Franklin Graham, was invited to attend.
‘(Graham) spread the gospel in 185 countries during his 99 years on Earth, touching the lives of many and forever changing the course of the world’s spiritual health,’ Ryan said in a statement. Members of the public will be invited to pay their respects to Graham while he lies in honor. Graham died on Wednesday at the age of 99 from natural causes. He preached Christianity to more people than anyone else in history during his 70-year career, reaching hundreds of millions of people either in person or via TV and satellite links, his ministry said.
“Few, if any, men have had as great an impact on so many as Billy Graham. He was a strong voice for not only the Christian faith, but for basic human decency, as shown by his strident opposition to segregation. He was America’s pastor. Rest in Peach, Reverend Graham.”
“Praise God for the life and influence of Billy Graham who passed away last night. He was a man who boldly proclaimed the love of God and what it meant to be a Christian. If we all had his courage, the world would be a different place. One of the greatest privileges of my life was to speak at one of his rallies and to personally experience his charisma. Thank you Lord for sharing this life with us for 99 years.”