From his Feb. 21 death to his March 2 funeral, the days of Billy Graham’s memorial activities were not only considered major events in church history, but benchmarks in national and world timelines.
In case you missed it, here is a compilation of our coverage remembering “America’s pastor.”
Billy Graham was memorialized the same way the world came to know him: under a tent.
“America’s pastor” was laid to rest March 2 beside his wife, Ruth, in the Prayer Garden of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, following a private funeral service.
The oversized white tent is a remembrance of “The Canvas Cathedral”—the site of the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade, on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Hill Street.
Graham’s older son, Franklin, delivered the funeral message, and each of Graham’s four other children—Gigi, Anne, Ruth, and Ned—made remarks.
“My father preached on heaven, told millions how to find heaven, and wrote a book about heaven,” said Franklin from the platform during the funeral service. “Today, he is in heaven. His journey is complete. … If he could speak, he would ask you, ‘Will you be making this journey to heaven?’”
Anne Graham Lotz (@AGLotz) sharing memories of her father @billygraham and a powerful reminder about "hope for tomorrow" and the promise of Christ. Live now: https://t.co/9RqhBknOpK pic.twitter.com/xRZqSjiAll
— BGEA (@BGEA) March 2, 2018
Billy Graham became the fourth private citizen in U.S. history to have lain in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
The public came to pay respect to “America’s pastor” for several hours on Wednesday, Feb. 28. His pine plywood casket, constructed by inmates at Louisiana’s Angola Prison, rested on a platform built hastily after Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 assassination. The platform was covered with a black cloth similar to the one used when Lincoln lay in state.
Prior to Graham, civil-rights hero Rosa Parks, who died in 2005, was the most recent private citizen to lie in honor at the Capitol.
On Feb. 28, 2018, Billy Graham became the 34th overall, and only the fourth private citizen to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. https://t.co/eU3ccGZSyp
— BGEA (@BGEA) February 28, 2018
Motorcade Brought ‘America’s Pastor’ Back Home
On Saturday, Feb. 24, the immediate family had a private prayer service at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina, before a motorcade transported Graham’s body to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, where he lay in repose.
The journey took around three and a half hours, leaving The Cove around 11:30 a.m. and arriving at the Billy Graham Library around 3 p.m.
The outpouring of love we are seeing as we travel from Asheville to Charlotte via the motorcade with my father @BillyGraham is overwhelming. People lining the streets, the overpasses—Thank you. pic.twitter.com/j5R6TNsve4
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) February 24, 2018
Billy Graham’s Body Lay in Repose at the Billy Graham Library
On Monday, Feb. 26 and Tuesday, Feb. 27, the public was invited to come pay their respects to Billy Graham, who lay in repose in the Graham Family Homeplace, situated on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library.
The Graham Family Homeplace was Graham’s childhood home, which was moved from its original location just a few miles from the library.
People trekked from miles away. Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also made appearances.
I appreciate President George W. Bush and his wife @LauraWBush coming to pay their respects to my father today in Charlotte. It was so good of them. My father would have been honored. We shared some great memories. pic.twitter.com/vAlMV6quag
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) February 26, 2018
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) February 27, 2018
Billy Graham was buried in a pine plywood casket constructed by inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. His wife, Ruth, was buried in an identical casket upon her death in 2007.
“Billy Graham is a simple man who preached a simple message,” Angola inmate Richard “Grasshopper” Liggett is said to have told the prison chaplain. “He must be buried in a simple casket.”
Many people have asked me about my father’s casket. In this short video, my son Roy shares the story and we have footage of the casket being handmade by a convicted murderer named “Grasshopper” at Angola Prison in Louisiana. pic.twitter.com/DPyU0Yz4QC
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) March 1, 2018
After his death on Feb. 21, flowers were placed below the Billy Graham statue at the Ridgecrest Conference Center.
The larger-than-life statue has been at Ridgecrest, a few miles from Graham’s Western North Carolina home, for the past two years after moving from Lifeway’s Nashville headquarters.