The Rev. Billy Graham, one of the world’s most famous Christian evangelists, has died, a family spokesman said Wednesday. He was 99.
Graham died at his North Carolina home Wednesday morning, spokesman Mark DeMoss said.
At a press briefing Wednesday night, DeMoss said Graham — whose body he said is currently at Morris Funeral Home in Asheville, North Carolina — was not in the company of any family members when he died. DeMoss said Graham died in his sleep, and that an attendant nurse would have been the only person with him.
DeMoss said Graham’s body is slated to move Thursday afternoon to the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville. A private family prayer service will be held Saturday morning. Beginning Monday, for at least two days, Graham’s body will lie in repose at the Graham family home.
Then next Friday, a 90-minute funeral will be held at which his son Franklin Graham will speak, in addition to his other children. The hymns chosen for the funeral are some of Graham’s favorite. In fact, he personally approved the details of the service years ago.
After the funeral, Graham’s body will be buried at a cross-shaped brick walkway in the northeast side of the Billy Graham Library, next to his wife Ruth, who was buried in 2007. The interment will be private and family-only. Casket was made by inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary prison in Angola.
Invitations have been extended to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as living ex-presidents, DeMoss said.
Known as “America’s pastor,” Graham was a key figure in the revival of the U.S. evangelical Christian movement. The preacher began holding revival meetings in the 1940s and went on to become an adviser to several U.S. presidents.
He had been in poor health in recent years, and had turned his international ministry over to son Franklin Graham. Graham did not have cancer, despite reports claiming otherwise, his spokesman said.