The Archive Collection

From the Archives: Billy Graham – America’s Pastor

February 20, 2023

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, one week after his death, Billy Graham’s body lay in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Only four civilians have been honored in this way.

When Billy Graham passed away on Feb. 21, 2018, condolences poured out from around the world. Throughout his life, Billy Graham was called many things, “Pastor to Presidents,” “God’s Ambassador,” and “America’s Pastor.”

Perhaps nothing could convey the title “America’s Pastor” than a book of condolences presented to the Graham family with heartfelt messages from members of the United States Senate following Billy Graham’s lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. Billy Graham was the 34th overall and only the fourth private citizen to receive this honor, joining the ranks of notable people such as Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, and John F. Kennedy. The heartfelt words from the senators represented in this book of how Rev. Graham touched their lives indicate just how far his impact reached the citizens of his country with God’s message of love and hope.

Book of condolences given to the Graham family from the United States Senate following Billy Graham’s passing in 2018

From North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis:

My deepest condolences to the Graham family. Reverend Graham touched so many lives and his legacy will live on as he enters the Kingdom of Heaven.


From Louisiana Senator John Kennedy:

Thank you, Pastor Billy Graham, for giving so much.

John Kennedy

U.S. Senator Louisiana


From Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker:

What a meaningful ceremony to follow a meaningful life. Our thanks to the Graham family for sharing him with us all.

Roger Wicker

U.S.S. Miss.

From South Carolina U.S. Senator, Lindsey Graham:

To the Graham Family:

God bless your family in time of loss and celebration of the life of Billy Graham, a man who told the story of Christ[’s] love in a way to change millions of lives. Proud to be part of the Graham clan.

Lindsey Graham – R.S.C.

From Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio:

Rev. Graham was truly a national treasure. We were blessed to have him. May God bless his soul. Take comfort that he has heard the words we all strive to hear from our Creator, well done good and faithful servant.

Marco Rubio (Florida)

Make sure to visit the newly updated Journey of Faith tour at the Billy Graham Library. This free tour now includes an exhibit about the memorial events for Billy Graham. For more information and to plan your visit, go to:

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