Written by 5:43 pm In the News

Billy Graham statue unveiled

A 7-foot bronze statue of the late evangelist Rev Billy Graham was officially installed as part of the National Statuary Hall collection in Washington DC.

Rev Graham is now immortalised at the hall alongside 97 other Americans, including presidents, astronauts, aviators, and inventors. The bronze sculpture was created in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, by artist Chas Fagan.

The sculpture portrays the evangelist gesturing towards an open Bible in his hand; the pedestal is inscribed with a cross and two verses from the Bible—John 3:16 and John 14:6. It has a plaque at the base that reads “Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Rev Graham died in 2018 at the age of ninety nine. He spent more than eighty years preaching to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history — nearly 215 million people across six continents.

He also provided spiritual counsel to twelve sitting presidents and dozens of world leaders.

His son Franklin Graham, who is President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, told the crowd who’d gathered at the National Statuary Hall that his family was “honoured”:

“My father would be a little uncomfortable with this being here because he would want the focus to be on the one that he preached. He’d want the focus to be on the Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God…Our family is honoured that our earthly father will be here in this Capitol, pointing future generations to our heavenly father.”

The unveiling ceremony also featured remarks from House Speaker Mike Johnson who held up a copy of Billy Graham’s study Bible and read aloud Galatians 6:14, a passage that Rev Graham had underlined in red in his personal Bible.

The same verse is also engraved on the pages of the Bible in the statue: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Speaker Johnson described the unveiling ceremony an historic moment:

“I don’t ever get nervous for public speaking, but I am nervous today. Can I be honest with you? Because Billy Graham is such a towering figure in my life—as he is in all of our lives—and such a singular figure and the leading ambassador for the Kingdom in our lifetimes.”

Billy Graham has now become only the fourth person in US history—along with President Gerald Ford, President Ronald Reagan, and Rosa Parks—to have received the three highest Congressional honours: a statue commissioned for Statuary Hall, the Congressional Gold Medal, and to have laid in honour at the US Capitol.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper was also present at the ceremony along with North Carolina Senators Ted Budd and Thom Tillis and other Congressional representatives.

Three-time Grammy-winner Michael W. Smith provided special music for the ceremony.

(Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

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