Statue of Billy Graham Will be in the U.S. Capitol

Billy Graham

A statute of evaneglist Billy Graham will be inside the U.S. Capitol.  Both chambers of the North Carolina legislature have now voted to place a statue of Billy Graham inside the U.S. Capitol.

However,no  statue of the evangelist will appear in the Capitol until after he dies. Congressional guidelines say a person's likeness can only be installed posthumously. Graham's statue will replace one of Charles Aycock. Aycock was a former North Carolina governor (1901-05) from Wayne County who was a champion of public education and his statue has been in the Capitol since 1932.

Further, Graham, who pastored U.S. presidents and spread the Gospel at crusades around the world, will not be the first religious figure to get a statue in the Capitol. In fact, 12 states are represented by at least one person who made his or her mark in the world of faith. Hawaii donated a statue of Father Daimen, the Catholic priest who served the lepers on the island of Molokai. And a statue of Mormon leader Brigham Youngis one of two representing Utah.

Since his ministry began in 1947, Graham conducted more than 400 crusades in 185 countries and territories on six continents. The first Billy Graham Crusade, held September 13-21, 1947, in the Civic Auditorium in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was attended by 6,000 people. Graham was 29 years old. He called them crusades, after the medieval Christian forces who conquered Jerusalem. He would rent a large venue, such as a stadium, park, or street.

As the sessions became larger, he arranged a group of up to 5,000 people to sing in a choir. He would preach the gospel and invite people to come forward (a practice begun by Dwight L. Moody). Such people were called inquirers and were given the chance to speak one-on-one with a counselor, to clarify questions and pray together. The inquirers were often given a copy of the Gospel of John or a Bible study booklet. In Moscow, in 1992, one-quarter of the 155,000 people in Graham's audience went forward at his call. During his crusades, he has frequently used the altar call song, "Just As I Am" 




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