Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Releases Details of Death, Funeral Information; Invitation-Only Event Will be Held Friday, March 2

The Rev. Billy Graham passed away in his sleep Wednesday morning, and though no family members were present, a spokesman said his passing was peaceful.

“It was described by nurse and doctor as a very peaceful passing,” said Mark DeMoss, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “He was not in any pain, and he wouldn’t have suffered any.”

The association held a press conference Wednesday night at the Billy Graham headquarters in Charlotte to announce details of funeral plans and to talk about Graham’s final moments. At age 99, Graham suffered from several maladies, including vision and hearing loss, as well as Parkinson’s-like symptoms diagnosed nearly 20 years ago.

DeMoss said Graham’s personal physician, Lucian Rice of Asheville, described Graham’s passing this way: “He just wore out.”

Graham died at 7:33 a.m. ET Wednesday, and was found by his longtime assistant, David Bruce, who then called Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, who was in Dallas.

“I think we can say he passed in his sleep,” DeMoss said. “Nobody would have been with him other than an attendant nurse.”

Graham’s funeral service will take place at noon on March 2 at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. His body was taken to Morris Funeral Home in Asheville on Wednesday and will be moved to Charlotte via motorcade on Saturday.

The funeral will be private and by invitation only, with some 2,300 invitations going out, including to President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the living former U.S. presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, DeMoss said. He did not have information on any acceptances Wednesday night.

Franklin Graham will speak at the funeral service, as well as Graham’s four other children.

Graham will lie in repose Monday and Tuesday at the Graham Family Homeplace at the Billy Graham Library. The public can pay its respects both days, from 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Graham’s body will be moved from Morris Funeral Home in Asheville to the Billy Graham Training Center in Swannanoa at 3 p.m. Thursday, but this is a private movement. Graham’s body will leave the Cove at 11:25 a.m. Saturday for Charlotte, arriving at the Billy Graham Library around 3 p.m.

Details on the motorcade will be released Thursday.

The Graham homeplace was built in 1927 by Graham’s father and moved to the library site. Graham lived in the home from age 9 until he left for college.

Graham will be buried on the library grounds next to his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, who died in 2007.

SOURCE: John Boyle
Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times