Reverend Billy Graham, the legendary evangelist and pastor to presidents, died at age 99 on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. World leaders, religious leaders, political figures, and many other public figures are paying tribute on Twitter, Instagram and other social media to the iconic pastor known for his decades of evangelical crusades and dozens of inspirational books. You can see a roundup of tributes below.
According to the New York Times, Rev. Billy Graham’s death at his home in Montreat, North Carolina was confirmed by Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times obituary:
Mr. Graham took the role of evangelist to a new level, lifting it from the sawdust floors of canvas tents in small-town America to the podiums of packed stadiums in the world’s major cities. He wrote some 30 books and was among the first to use new communication technologies for religious purposes. During his “global crusade” from Puerto Rico in 1995, his sermons were translated simultaneously into 48 languages and transmitted to 185 countries by satellite.
Mr. Graham’s standing as a religious leader was unusual: Unlike the pope or the Dalai Lama, he spoke for neither a particular church (though he was a Southern Baptist) nor a particular people.
At times, he seemed to fill the role of national clergyman. He read from Scripture at President Richard M. Nixon’s funeral in California in 1994, offered prayers at a service in the National Cathedral for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and, despite his failing health, traveled to New Orleans in 2006 to preach to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
His reach was global, and he was welcomed even by repressive leaders like Kim Il-sung of North Korea, who invited him to preach in Pyongyang’s officially sanctioned churches.
His son paid tribute:
My father @BillyGraham was once asked, “Where is Heaven?” He said, “Heaven is where Jesus is and I am going to Him soon!” This morning, he departed this world into eternal life in Heaven, prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ—the Savior of the world—whom he proclaimed for 80 years.
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) February 21, 2018
Here’s a roundup of tributes from world leaders and other public figures.
The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2018
.@FLOTUS Melania and I join millions of people around the world in mourning the passing of Billy Graham. Our prayers are with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who worked closely with Reverend Graham in his lifelong ministry. https://t.co/e1697tcyaI
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2018
Saddened by the loss of Evangelist Billy Graham. He led an impactful life, touching so many people with his spiritual teachings. He will be deeply missed.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham was a humble servant who prayed for so many – and who, with wisdom and grace, gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham lived his faith fully, and his powerful words and the conviction they carried touched countless hearts and minds. https://t.co/b4QaPyFlP0
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) February 21, 2018
It is with great sadness that Elaine and I note the passing of the Rev. Billy Graham, a man whose God-given gifts and love for souls endeared him to millions and earned for him the title “America’s Pastor." pic.twitter.com/YRavreBjB9
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) February 21, 2018
One of the greatest messengers of Christ has gone to his heavenly reward.
Dr. Graham spread the good news to millions across the world and led a life beyond reproach.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 21, 2018
Saddened by the passing of Rev. Billy Graham, a great American & faithful Christian who inspired millions of people with the gospel message. RIP.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham lifted eyes toward heaven and instilled heaven’s values in hearts. The world mourns this man of character, this man of God.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 21, 2018
Reverend Billy Graham's steadfast faith in God inspired me and many others across our nation to lead better lives. He will be missed. God bless. pic.twitter.com/OoXCDOneTt
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 21, 2018
One of the greatest privileges of my life was to speak at one of his rallies and to personally experience his charisma. Thank you Lord for sharing this life with us for 99 years. 2/2
— Ben & Candy Carson (@RealBenCarson) February 21, 2018
Rev. Billy Graham held his final crusade in Queens, the most diverse county in the U.S. – fitting for someone who inspired so many people all around the world. pic.twitter.com/u0yANjeRrj
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham was one of the greatest spiritual and moral leaders in America’s history. His ministry of love, reconciliation, hope, and salvation was world-changing. I thank God for his life and legacy. He was, and will always be, a role model of integrity and grace.
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) February 21, 2018
There simply will never be another Billy Graham. What a gift of God to this world.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) February 21, 2018
While it was sad to hear the news of Billy Graham passing, I am rejoicing that he is now home in heaven. Billy was a great man of God who made a tremendous impact all over the globe. His love for people and integrity had a great impact on my life and so many others! pic.twitter.com/m1KshXeSw4
— Joyce Meyer (@JoyceMeyer) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham has always been and will always be a hero in our home. Next to my own father, Reverend Graham was the most humble and gracious man I ever knew. I am honored to call him a friend and a mentor. Victoria and I will miss him dearly. pic.twitter.com/8kkj3kYRJo
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) February 21, 2018
Numerous public figures from entertainment, sports, journalism and other disciplines also paid tribute.
RIP Billy Graham. A great man with a fabulous turn of phrase. pic.twitter.com/x0oGDDG4PO
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 21, 2018
Condolences to family of the Reverend Doctor Billy Graham. The great preacher and pastor has died, leaving a legacy of being one of the most influential Americans of his time.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) February 21, 2018
One of the great privileges I have had in my life was to meet and introduce Dr Billy Graham at a Crusade at Raymond James Stadium. Truly one of the most inspiring men of our generation. pic.twitter.com/rbnly4xkVY
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 21, 2018
Amazing…Rest in the arms of the Lord. Surely right now He is saying “Well done, my son.” https://t.co/I6i62JQlvD
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) February 21, 2018
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2018
Rest In Peace and Power Billy Graham??
— terrycrews (@terrycrews) February 21, 2018
Rev. Billy Graham has finally gone home. He will forever be remembered for proclaiming the Gospel in his iconic way. I went to 3 of his crusades in my life, the 1st of which was in Columbia, SC.????
— Josh Turner (@joshturnermusic) February 21, 2018
Rejoicing with my precious friend, Billy Graham. Without a doubt, the finest man I ever knew. So grateful that I am among the millions that he led to faith in Jesus and the promise of eternal life.
— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) February 21, 2018
I am not going to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds or read the Bible many times. I am going to Heaven just like the thief on the cross who said in that last moment “Lord remember me.”#BillyGraham
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) February 21, 2018
On behalf of all my Catholic friends, RIP, #BillyGraham. A great man who loved God…
— Mario Lopez (@MarioLopezExtra) February 21, 2018
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