On February 21, 2018, Billy Graham went to be with the Lord. The third anniversary of his death gives us another opportunity to show honor and gratitude for the humble servant of the Lord. Many recall his memorial service as his “final crusade.” In typical Billy Graham fashion, many gathered and thousands watched live as the Gospel message was preached.
Among the large crowds were those closest to Billy Graham. Though he was known as “America’s Pastor,” Billy was also called other titles such as “daddy,” “husband,” and “brother.” The memorial service gave tribute to each of these names. All of his children shared sentiments of their father at his memorial service. As they reflected on memories of their daddy, the love he shared with their mother, and his historic legacy, the audience listened intently to their words.
Gigi, Billy Graham’s oldest daughter, shared about her father’s passing: “The message didn’t start with Daddy and the message sure isn’t finished with daddy… Jesus Christ came to save those who need a savior. And, if any time in my lifetime we need that message, it’s today.” How true those words remain even three years later.
Leighton Ford, Billy Graham’s brother-in-law, joined the family in the reserved seating area. He was glad for Billy to be reunited with his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, in heaven.
In the days leading up to the memorial service, many guests shared their appreciation for Billy Graham and his family as they paid their respects at his Lie in Repose in the Graham family homeplace located at the Billy Graham Library.
“It hit me hard,” one guest said. “I feel like I knew Billy Graham in a personal way.” That same message was received several times that day by the members of the family. They cherished these memories and condolences as they, too, remembered who Billy was to them.