By Joy Allmond
During the days of Billy Graham’s memorial activities, Kyle Siler began his own tribute to Billy Graham: He started a petition to establish a holiday to honor “America’s pastor.”
Since Tuesday, Feb. 27—when Siler, a heavy equipment operator from North Carolina, started the Change.org petition—Facebook feeds have been lit up with pleas to honor the evangelist.
Billy Graham not only traveled the globe with the gospel, but ministered to his own country through his counsel to presidents, his public stance on the injustice of racism, and reaching millions—whether in person or through media—with the saving message of Jesus Christ.
By the morning of March 6, more than 90,000 people had signed the petition.
Let’s get a National Holiday for Billy Graham!! Mr. Graham preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories—through various meetings, including Mission World and Global Mission. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts. Mr. Graham’s counsel was sought by presidents, and his appeal in both the secular and religious arenas is evidenced by the wide range of groups that have honored him, including numerous honorary doctorates from many institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Help us with our cause of setting a national holiday to remember this great man.
The petition is addressed to President Donald Trump, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr (both from Graham’s home state of North Carolina), North Carolina State Senator Jerry Tillman, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives.
According to a 1999 Congressional report, more than 1,100 different proposals had been introduced in Congress since 1870 to establish federal holidays.
Only 11 have been approved.
Although it won’t be easy to get a Billy Graham holiday established, Siler isn’t daunted.
“If it grows fast enough, it’s like it’s the voice of the people, and it carries more weight,” he told the Charlotte Observer. “We’re hoping it takes off.”
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- Billy Graham’s Funeral Brings Ministry in Full Circle in ‘The Canvas Cathedral’
- Why Billy Graham’s Death Marks the End of An Era
JOY ALLMOND (@JoyAllmond) is managing editor of Facts & Trends.