Rev. Billy Graham is Laid to Rest in NC

Guests begin to arrive at Billy Graham's funeral at his namesake library in Charlotte Friday

Under a large white tent evoking her father's "Canvas Cathedral" revival almost seven decades ago, Anne Graham Lotz urged the Church, the world, and herself to "wake up!" as she joined her siblings and some 2,000 others at the funeral of her iconic evangelist father, Billy Graham, in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday.

The ceremony will take place at the Billy Graham Library on the family's property in Charlotte, under a broad white tent that harkens back to the "canvas cathedral" in 1949 that helped propel Graham to prominence.

The noontime service, in many ways Graham's final crusade, will be streamed live.

The Rev. Billy Graham's son Franklin has delivered the main funeral message at his father's funeral service, saying that the famous evangelist was the same at home as he appeared to millions around the world.

"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.

Exit polls showed that about 80 per cent of white evangelical voters voted for the Trump-Pence ticket - the largest vote for a Republican presidential candidate since 2004, when such voters overwhelmingly chose President George W Bush by a margin of 78 per cent to 21 per cent.

He added: "There weren't two Billy Grahams". He had spoken briefly Wednesday at a ceremony for Graham at the Capitol, where the preacher's body lay in honor.

Crews closed the Billy Graham Parkway on Thursday night ahead of the funeral.

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Billy Graham said later in his life that he should have steered clear of politics. He said of his father, "The Billy Graham that the world saw on television, the Billy Graham that the world saw in the big stadiums, was the same Billy Graham that we saw at home".

"I think it likely that, as his father's relationship with Richard Nixon proved to be a low point in his long ministry, Franklin's relationship with President Trump will come to embarrass him", said William Martin, author of "A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story".

Graham will be laid to rest next to his late wife Ruth, at the foot of a cross-shaped brick walkway in the library's prayer garden.

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".

Mr. Trump and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, have personally donated to Samaritan's Purse, which was involved in relief work after Hurricane Harvey.

The casket was a simple wooden box that was constructed by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Officials expect about 200 family members to attend the interment, which will be closed to the public and media.

After a life of traveling the world to spread the gospel, he said the Billy Graham he knew finally made the trip he's waited on for a lifetime.


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