Rev. Billy Graham, prominent Christian evangelist, dead at 99 years old. A family spokesman says he died this morning at his North Carolina home from natural causes.
According to Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for Billy, Graham passed away on Wednesday morning at 8:00am at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, of natural causes.
Graham, who preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history (nearly 215 million people) is widely considered to be the most influential preacher of the 20th century. In 2008, Graham’s estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion.
The Rev. Billy Graham, prominent Christian evangelist, dead at 99, Fox News confirms https://t.co/ZCwe3oy1mG
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The longtime evangelist appeared on Gallup’s list of most admired men and women 60 times since 1955 — every year the research company asked the question.
“America’s Pastor” came from modest means and grew up on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. He found his spiritual path at 16, charmed by the traveling minister and temperance movement leader Mordecai Ham. Graham later moved to Florida and was ordained there in 1939.
Graham was known for his sense of humor and for maintaining a nonpartisan Christian view, which earned him some criticism. But his dedication to ministry and unity is long evident and best remembered in his refusal to pay heed to segregation policies, forcing churches to integrate for his services.
Graham was a spiritual adviser to many United States presidents, providing spiritual counsel for every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. Additionally, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. considered Graham a close friend, saying of the Evangelical reverend:
“Had it not been for the ministry of my good friend Dr. Billy Graham, my work in the Civil Rights Movement would not have been as successful as it has been.”
He had celebrated his 99th birthday on November 7, 2017.
During his life, Grahman was quoted as saying “My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.”