Funeral and related plans for the Rev. Billy Graham, which have been in the works for years, were detailed Wednesday night following Graham’s death that morning.
There will be a private prayer service for the immediate family at 10:45 a.m. this Saturday at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, in Asheville, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced.
A motorcade procession will leave the center at 11:25 a.m. Saturday and arrive in front of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte by about 3 p.m. for a private family viewing. More details about the route of the procession will be released at 1 p.m. Thursday. No funeral-related activities are scheduled for Sunday.
Graham will lie in public repose next Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 26 and 27, at his family homestead at the Billy Graham Library.
The public will be shuttled from two off-site locations to pay their respects before Graham’s closed casket from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days.
On those days, shuttle buses will take people from parking lots at the Operation Christmas Child warehouse, 7100 Forest Point Blvd. in south Charlotte, and from the Charlotte Valet Business Lot 2 at 5601 Wilkinson Blvd. at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Graham’s funeral service starts at noon on Friday, March 2, and will be private, open only to 2,300 invited guests. Burial will follow. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and former presidents have been invited.
The funeral will take place under a tent in the main parking lot of the library, “as a reminder of how his public ministry was launched,” family spokesman Mark DeMoss said. Graham’s break-through crusade was held in 1949 under a large tent in Los Angeles.
The service will include remarks from his children, including evangelist Franklin Graham.
Charlotte-born Billy Graham died at 7:46 a.m. Wednesday at his Montreat home. He was 99.
He will be buried on the library grounds beside his wife, Ruth, who died in 2007. Like her, he will be laid to rest in a plywood coffin made by inmates at the Angola Prison in Louisiana.
DeMoss told reporters that Graham died in his sleep. No one was with him except a nurse.
Graham’s long-time personal physician, Dr. Lucian Rice of Asheville, was called to Graham’s home. “He just wore out,” Rice said, according to DeMoss.
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SOURCE: The Charlotte Observer – Tim Funk, Joe Marusak