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Mourners filling tent for Billy Graham funeral

Mourners filling tent for Billy Graham funeral”

The late Reverend Billy Graham, spearhead of an evangelical Christian movement that touched millions worldwide and who provided spiritual counsel to several U.S. presidents, returned to his North Carolina home for good on Friday. Graham was laid to rest at the Billy Graham Library's prayer garden alongside his wife, Ruth, who passed away in 2007. The service is being streamed live online.

Franklin Graham's funeral message, which included a Gospel call to repentance and salvation, followed shorter remarks by his siblings in a service that lasted just over an hour before an invitation-only crowd of approximately 2,000.

"My father preached on heaven, told millions how to find heaven, he wrote a book on heaven and today he's in heaven", said Franklin Graham.

President Donald Trump has arrived at the funeral for the Rev. Billy Graham in North Carolina. "There weren't two Billy Grahams", local newspaper the Charlotte Observer quoted him as saying. "There weren't two Billy Grahams", eldest son Franklin Graham told the funeral congregation.

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The funeral planning began a decade ago with Billy Graham himself, and grew into his family's desire to capture the feeling of the crusades that made the world's best-known Protestant preacher of his era.

His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of the Reverend Billy Graham, and he offers heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. "But the Billy Graham that the world saw on television, the Billy Graham that the world saw in big stadiums, was the same Billy Graham we saw at home".

Anne Graham Lotz said that she believes God is sending a message by bringing Graham to Heaven. Only the sound of rain broke the silence of the pallbearers, six of Graham's grandsons, who guided his simple wooden coffin out of the hearse and began the slow walk toward the Billy Graham Library where it will remain until Friday's funeral.

On Wednesday, Graham became the first private citizen since civil rights icon Rosa Parks in 2005 to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington. During a preaching engagement at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, Rev. Franklin Graham learned inmates had been building caskets for other inmates who died while serving their sentences.

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Warren said Graham was a major influence on how he learned how to preach.

"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 sister Jean Ford, 85, eulogized her brother shortly after a private meeting with the Trumps and Pences at the Billy Graham Library, where Graham will be buried.

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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