Lying in Repose

Thousands come to view the casket and express gratitude

For two days, Feb. 26-27, more than 13,000 people came from near and far—some driving or even flying for hours—to pay last respects to Billy Graham.

With his body lying in repose in the Graham Family Homeplace on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., visitors quietly walked past his casket and reflected on the tremendous impact of his life and ministry.

“He transcended racial barriers, cultural barriers, religious barriers,” said Corin Buskey, of Rock Hill, S.C., who attended with her husband, Mark. “He never tried to act like he had all the answers, but he pointed all of us back to the cross, back to the Bible.”

Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton came to honor Mr. Graham and to visit privately with Franklin Graham.

Jonathan David, a native of India who now lives in the United Kingdom, flew in from London as a sign of thanks for how the Lord used Mr. Graham in the two countries.

John Morris came in remembrance of accepting Christ at the 1996 Billy Graham Crusade in Charlotte. “Billy Graham means the world to me,” he said. “Jesus Christ flipped my world upside down.”

Wanda Locklear McCall of Lumberton, N.C., had tears in her eyes as she contemplated the magnitude of the moment.

“He’s home,” she said of Mr. Graham. “There is such a sweet reunion in Heaven now of all the people he didn’t even know knew him.