By Grace Vasquez
Growing up Catholic in a house that my mom made sure we knew we were Catholics end of story. I remember so clearly that the only person we were allowed to see or hear speak of Christ was the Reverend Billy Graham. I knew then that this man was special.
Reverend Billy Graham known as “America’s Pastor” has died.
The Charlotte, North Carolina born Rev. Billy Graham died before 8 a.m. this morning at his family home. Graham became an ordained minister in 1939 and preached actively until 2005 when he launched his “Final Crusade.”
The legendary man of God was a counselor to every president beginning with Harry Truman, but downplayed the role saying he simply “prayed with them.” Graham was non-partisan, knowing that political favoritism would damage his ministry. Graham’s ethics and his emphasis on cooperation among different faiths earned him widespread respect.
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter to note Graham’s death.
During national crises, like the Oklahoma City bombing, Graham was sought out for his ability to comfort and console with simplicity and eloquence. Even as he aged, he looked forward. “I’ve been asked so many times lately, do I fear death? No! I look forward to death, with great anticipation. I’m looking forward to seeing God face to face.”
In 2005, Graham preached at what he called his “Final Crusade.”
Graham said: “Deep inside we need something else. And that something else can be brought about by Jesus.”
“When I touch the podium, I can feel a new strength and a new power come and it’s a thrilling thing for me to preach the gospel at this age,” Graham said.
Rev. Graham’s “Final Crusade” ended a lifetime of evangelism: seven decades of spreading the gospel to over than 200 million people in 185 countries around the world.
Graham, who suffered with Parkinson’s disease, said: “I’ve been asked so many times lately, do I fear death? No! I look forward to death, with great anticipation. I’m looking forward to seeing God face to face.”
I have a feeling Rev. Graham has been welcomed home with open arms. ~grace