For those unfamiliar with Charlotte, NC there are three things that people are proud to associate with: NASCAR, BBQ and Billy Graham. Ruth’s death on Thursday was the death not only of a celebrity, but someone who has had a tremendous impact on Charlotte, Montreat and the world.
Recently, I was watching one of Billy Graham’s “Crusades” on TBN. I don’t think it would be a stretch to claim that Billy Graham–through the power of the Spirit, of course–has probably had the greatest numerical influence upon the sharing of the Gospel and people’s acceptance of Jesus Christ in the history of the world; even more than Paul. His ability to utlize the available resources to communicate the gospel in such a basic but powerful way has left an indelliable mark on American (and 20th century) Christianity.
When one contrasts this fame with another Charlotte couple, the Bakkers, one has to be amazed at the humility, authenticity, purity and sincerity which the Grahams carried the gospel message to the ends of the world.
I found this to be well represented by the way in which Ruth and Billy Graham have chosen to be buried.
A statement released late Friday by the Grahams said Ruth Graham will be buried in a plywood coffin lined with a mattress pad.
At the Grahams’ request, the $200 box was built by Richard “Grasshopper” Liggett and fellow inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, La.
They also built one for Billy Graham, 88, who will someday be buried next to his wife.