Federal Leaders Honor the Preacher Whose “Message Met the Need” – Intercessors for America

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On May 16, 2024, Speaker Mike Johnson, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Franklin Graham“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.” (KJV)

“That about sums up my Daddy Bill!” said Rachel-Ruth Lotz Wright, daughter of Anne Graham Lotz and granddaughter of Billy Graham. Rachel-Ruth spoke at IFA’s 50th anniversary celebration last November, and she joined others from the faith community at the private dedication last month to honor the Gospel legacy of North Carolina’s “Favorite Son.”

Steven and Rachel-Ruth Wright, Anne Graham Lotz, Morrow and Traynor Reitmeier, and Jonathan Lotz.

Serving as an intercessor and often an advisor for President Truman to President Trump, Graham’s prayers deeply touched the nation’s highest office. After Lyndon Johnson received a telegram from Graham saying he was praying for him following Kennedy’s assassination, Johnson wrote, “Your message met the need. The knowledge that one of God’s greatest messengers was seeking Divine Counsel on my behalf provided me with a strong source of strength, courage, and comfort. … I shall cherish this in the days ahead.”

The statue is a rare honor for the renowned messenger and prayer warrior, as only two statues representing each state are allowed in the hall. Graham’s statue replaced the statue of the late former North Carolina Governor Charles Aycock (1859-1912) who was known as an education advocate but came under public scrutiny for his association with white supremacy. In an era where placing “In God We Trust” in The Capitol Visitor Center was considered controversial, placing the evangelist’s statue in the Crypt may be nothing short of a miracle.

The credit for this miracle goes back nine years ago to 2015 when the North Carolina General Assembly approved legislation for a likeness of Graham in the U.S. Capitol following a state-wide petition. Former North Carolina Governor Pat McRory paved the way for the statue by signing House Bill 540. The bill-signing ceremony arrived in the middle of a massive storm and a state of emergency. Despite the weather, Governor McRory resolved not to cancel the planned event at the Billy Graham Library. Fittingly, he said, “If anything, now is when we need the prayers.”

The undaunted efforts of that stormy gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, captured the late preacher’s combination of spiritual influence and risk-taking so well. As his presence fades from memory into history, we can be confident that Graham’s pastoral prayers for our nation continue to bear fruit. Statuary Hall now bears witness to the twentieth-century mercy of God to send us a faithful servant whose heart ached for America.

If you are a North Carolina resident, you can send a message to legislators to thank them for their commitment to honor and uphold the values and godly ambition of Billy Graham. Click here.

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