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Statue of Rev. Billy Graham unveiled in U.S. Capitol

Franklin Graham, son of the late Rev. Billy Graham, speaking at the ceremonial unveiling of his father's statue Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

Statue of Rev. Billy Graham unveiled in U.S. Capitol

A statue commemorating the well-known evangelist was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall on Thursday. Notable political and Christian figures attended the ceremony, including Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, former Vice President Mike Pence, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

Franklin told the crowd it was a great honor and his father would be humbled and grateful. At the same time, Franklin added that his father would not want the attention on himself but on God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said at the ceremony that Billy Graham was finally taking his rightful place on these hallowed grounds of American democracy.

Each state in the union is represented by two statues in the Capitol building. Graham’s sculpture will replace early 20th-century education advocate Gov. Charles Aycock, who recently has been harshly criticized for his ties to white supremacy. Congress only installs statues posthumously in the Capitol, but North Carolina legislators began petitioning for Graham’s statue years before his 2018 death. Graham is one of the few private citizens to be honored in Statuary Hall.

How is Graham depicted? North Carolina-based artist Chas Fagan crafted the 7-foot-tall bronze statue depicting Graham gesturing to an open Bible in his hand. The statue stands on a base made of granite from Rowan County that reads “Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” John 3:16 and John 14:6 are also engraved.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read about Billy Graham’s extraordinary legacy.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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