President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump may have had a “bumpy” flight takeoff from Virginia en route to Charlotte, but the Trumps made it safely – along with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence – to celebrate the life of the Rev. Billy Graham. More than 30,000 people watched the funeral of Graham, from the official Billy Graham Evangelistic Association YouTube channel alone on Friday, March 2.
During the ceremony, the hashtag #BillyGrahamFuneral began trending. Graham’s only surviving sibling began speaking about the words that President Trump said. “When the president saw me he said, ‘My goodness, your family has good genes.’ He didn’t know that my name is Jean,” said Billy Graham’s sister, Jean Ford, as she began speaking at her brother’s funeral. Billy’s sister, according to the Charlotte Observer, visited her 99-year-old brother recently, with Jean telling Billy, “I wish I could take you back to Charlotte with me.”
The funeral service was held at the Billy Graham Library. Billy Graham died on February 21, at age 99. Now, the above video, titled “Billy Graham Funeral Coverage | Live from Charlotte, NC,” began streaming live around noon on Friday, with the number of folks watching live surging toward 30,000 people.
Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, noted that her father’s death date of February 21 was significant in a biblical perspective, calling her dad a “great liberator” like Moses, who God called home. Anne then compared Billy’s death to the ushering in of a younger leader like Joshua, whom Lotz compared to Jesus.
“Could it be that God is going to bring a Joshua to lead us to heaven? Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”
Matthew 24:14 says that when the Gospel is reached, the end will come, Anne noted. After Graham’s daughters spoke, his son quipped about not taking his allotted three minutes that they were allowed to speak, since his siblings took more time.
Christian songs were sung during the funeral, which featured plenty of laughter and tears from speakers and the audience. Approximately 2,000 people attended Graham’s funeral below a “massive white tent,” according to the Washington Post.
The funeral also streamed live at Billy Graham’s website.