Leaders Pay Tribute to Billy Graham
Famed evangelical preacher the Rev. Billy Graham passed away on Wednesday at the age of 99.
Graham spent decades in the public eye, preaching to millions and regularly contributing widely-syndicated advice columns.
News of his passing immediately garnered an outpouring of tributes and condolences on social media from a diverse array of people.
Here are some of the many statements of condolence and remembrance, ranging from faith leaders to celebrities and family.
The son of the famed preacher and an outspoken public figure in his own right, the Rev. Franklin Graham posted a statement to his official Facebook page.
“This morning, at the age of 99, he departed this world into eternal life in Heaven, prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ—the Savior of the world—whom he proclaimed for nearly 80 years,” stated Graham.
“He will be missed by our family, his colleagues, faithful ministry partners, and, yes, many around the world. But what joy he has to be welcomed by God the Father, and be reunited with my mother in the presence of Jesus who speaks peace to eternal souls.”
Vice President Mike Pence released a pair of statements on Twitter in which he and his wife expressed sadness over the death of Billy Graham.
“Karen and I were saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest Americans of the century, Reverend Billy Graham. We send our deepest condolences to the Graham family,” tweeted Pence.
“Billy Graham’s ministry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his matchless voice changed the lives of millions. We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, ‘well done good and faithful servant.’ Thank you Billy Graham. God bless you.”
Paying tribute, founder of Desiring God, John Piper recalled his first meeting with Graham.
He wrote, “Now I am 72 in Minneapolis (remember “Box 123”?!), not a teenager in South Carolina. And Billy died today at the age of 99. This morning I have been singing his songs (“Just as I Am” and “How Great Thou Art”). The flood of emotion they awaken, after a lifetime of profound associations, is a sweet sorrow. Thank you, Lord, that you answered my boyish prayers and preserved his life as long as you did. And not just his life, but his faith and his witness.”
Author and Apologist Ravi Zacharias, expressed gratitude to Graham for the numerous platforms offered him.
Zacharias said, “We have just received word of the passing of probably the most influential of evangelists in modern times: Billy Graham. It is with sadness that we received the word of his heavenly journey at age 99. Billy Graham was a man of extraordinary anointing and extraordinary humility. His was demonstrably a long obedience in the same direction. His loss will be felt deeply. I doubt any one person can ever take his place. The famed Charles Wesley once said, “God buries His workmen but carries on His work”,
“I had the privilege of meeting Billy Graham for the first time in 1983 and at his invitation spoke at Amsterdam ’83, ’86, and 2000. They were truly one of the highlights of my life.”
Evangelical leader Beth Moore, a notable speaker and author who oversees Living Proof Ministries, also honored the famed evangelist.
“There simply will never be another Billy Graham. What a gift of God to this world,” tweeted Moore.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, himself a noted evangelical with Southern Baptist roots, released a statement noting that Graham “shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide.”
“Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve,” stated Carter.
“He had an enormous influence on my own spiritual life, and I was pleased to count Reverend Graham among my advisors and friends.”
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, took to Twitter to celebrate the life and career of Graham.
Moore stated that he believed the renowned evangelical preacher was “the most important evangelist since the Apostle Paul.”
“He preached Christ, not himself, not politics, not prosperity. When many saw evangelicals as just so many Emer Gantrys, he carried unimpeachable personal integrity,” stated Moore.
Award-winning contemporary Christian singer Natalie Grant, daughter of musician Amy Grant, posted her thoughts on the death of Billy Graham.
“Just thinking about the homecoming #billygraham received makes me weep tears of joy. Let’s all carry on his legacy & help people find Jesus,” she tweeted.
Contemporary Christian musician and songwriter Matt Redman commented on the passing of Graham and included a quote from the deceased preacher.
“‘The most thrilling thing about heaven is that Jesus Christ will be there. I will see Him face to face.’ -Billy Graham. Joining with countless others today, sending love to the extended Graham family & so grateful for the life and ministry of this inspiring friend of God,” tweeted Redman.
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