Preacher of the Gospel: Billy Graham Statue Unveiled in the U.S. Capitol

June 13, 2024

Categories: Billy Graham

On May 16, a bronze statue of Billy Graham was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol where it will serve as a reminder of the Gospel message he preached for decades. It was installed in the Crypt as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection, one level below the Rotunda where every public tour of the Capitol begins.

Washington DC Unveiling on May 16, 2024

The seven-foot sculpture, created by Charlotte artist Chas Fagan, “Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” The sculpture shows Graham gesturing toward an open Bible in his hand, and the pedestal is inscribed with a cross and two verses from the Bible—John 3:16 and John 14:6.

“My father would be a little uncomfortable with this being here because he would want the focus to be on the One that he preached. He’d want the focus to be on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, told the crowd gathered in the National Statuary Hall. “Our family is honored that our earthly father will be here in this Capitol, pointing future generations to our heavenly Father.”

The unveiling ceremony also featured remarks from House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D), North Carolina Senators Ted Budd (R) and Thom Tillis (R), and other Congressional representatives. Three-time Grammy-winner Michael W. Smith also provided special music, each referencing the Good News central to Billy Graham’s preaching.

“Not that Rev. Graham was perfect. He would’ve been the first to tell us that,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. “But he believed, as many of us do, that there is redemption, and he gave his life to delivering that message.”

Washington DC Unveiling on May 16, 2024

When Speaker Johnson addressed the crowd, he held up a copy of Billy Graham’s study Bible, and read aloud Galatians 6:14, a passage that Mr. Graham had underlined in red in his personal Bible. The same verse is also engraved on the pages of the Bible in the statue: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

The ceremony marks a rare privilege for a private citizen. Rosa Parks, President Gerald Ford, and President Ronald Reagan are the only others to receive the three highest honors from Congress: the Congressional Gold Medal (1996), to have lain in honor or state in the Capitol (2018), and have a statue placed in Statuary Hall (2024).

WATCH: The Story Behind the Billy Graham Statue in the U.S. Capitol

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