Evangelist Billy Graham dies at age 99; reached millions
The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died.
Spokesman Mark DeMoss says Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday morning. He was 99.
Graham reached more than 200 million through his appearances and millions more through his pioneering use of television and radio. Unlike many traditional evangelists, he abandoned narrow fundamentalism to engage broader society.
Following the news of Graham's passing, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement:
“Donna and I count ourselves among the millions whose lives were touched by the teachings of Rev. Billy Graham, and we send our deepest condolences to his family. He was loved by those of many different faiths. Rev. Graham lived what he preached as evidenced by his global influence as a faith leader and his passion for evangelizing to people everywhere. He certainly had a special place in his heart for Louisiana as his legacy of prison ministry was actively involved in helping to reform the lives of those who as he put it had lost their way at Angola prison. Always working toward creating a more just and united society, Rev. Graham adhered to his calling of spreading the love and forgiveness of Christ. We join our prayers to those of so many Louisianans for the family of Rev. Graham as they celebrate his life and the impact of his preaching that will be remembered for years to come.”