A Tribute in Stone: Billy Graham to Receive Statue in U.S. Capitol

In a tribute to his influential legacy, the late evangelist Billy Graham will soon join the ranks of prominent Americans commemorated in the U.S. Capitol. A bronze statue of Graham will be unveiled next Thursday at 11 a.m. in the National Statuary Hall.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced that musician Michael W. Smith will perform at the ceremony, and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and other distinguished congressional representatives will attend.

The statue, which will stand seven feet tall, was crafted by an artist from Graham’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. It depicts Graham with an open Bible, symbolizing his lifelong dedication to preaching the Gospel.

The statue’s pedestal will bear John 3:16 and John 14:6 inscriptions, identifying Graham as a “Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” This recognition follows the unanimous decision by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013 to name him the state’s “Favorite Son.”

Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., lauded Graham’s vast impact, noting his simple yet profound message of forgiveness and his global reach in preaching, civil rights advocacy, and spiritual guidance. Budd emphasized Graham’s historical significance as the first private citizen from North Carolina to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol.

Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son and the current president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, expressed deep appreciation for this honor. He remarked that while his father would be humbled by this recognition, he would prefer the focus to remain on Jesus Christ rather than on himself.

Billy Graham’s influence was monumental. In his eight-decade career, he counseled 12 U.S. presidents and preached to nearly 215 million people across 185 countries. His last message to the American public, released on his 95th birthday, reflected his concerns about the nation’s spiritual state.

Established in 1864, the Statuary Hall allows each state to honor two notable citizens. This statute of Graham will represent North Carolina, joining other figures such as former Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock and Civil War Gov. Zebulon Baird Vance.

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