Evangelist Billy Graham's body taken to his hometown in 130-mile procession

By Susan McFarland  |  Updated Feb. 25, 2018 at 9:11 AM
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Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Thousands of mourners and well-wishers lined the streets in North Carolina Saturday to see a 10-car motorcade with a hearse carrying the body of the Rev. Billy Graham, one of the world's most famous Christian evangelists.

Graham, known as "America's Pastor," died Wednesday at age 99 at his longtime home in Montreat, North Carolina. The procession traveled 130-miles to bring the evangelist's body back to his hometown of Charlotte.

The motorcade left the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, North Carolina for a four-hour journey to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte.

Graham's son, Franklin, also an evangelist, tweeted: "My father made me promise long ago that we would take him back to Charlotte after he died, and that's what we're in the process of doing right now."

Graham will lie in repose inside the Graham Family Homeplace on the Billy Graham Library grounds on Monday and Tuesday. His casket will remain closed. Viewing will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

A private funeral service is scheduled for March 2. The evangelist will be buried beside his wife, Ruth McCue Bell, at the foot of the cross-shaped brick walkway in the Prayer Garden on the library grounds.

Graham will lie in the U.S. Capitol for two days before his formal funeral next week. Graham's viewing in the rotunda will occur Feb. 28 and March 1. He is the first to lie in honor at the Capitol since civil rights icon Rosa Parks in 2005.

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