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Statue of Rev. Billy Graham is unveiled at the U.S. Capitol

A statue of the late Rev. Billy Graham will be unveiled at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

The two-meter-tall bronze statue was created by an artist from Charlotte Chas Fagan and shows Graham gesturing to an open Bible in his hand.

“This is a great honor, and my father would be humbled and grateful,” Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, said in a written statement. “At the same time, he would not like the attention to be on himself, but on God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Graham spent more than 80 years preaching to more people in live audiences than anyone in history. He died in 2018 at the age of 99 at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

“Rev. Billy Graham’s legacy is based on his simple message of forgiveness, based on John 3:16. His lifelong dedication to preaching the Gospel, his fight for civil rights, his opposition to communism, and his spiritual leadership provided hope to hundreds of people. of millions,” Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), who was part of the bipartisan effort to place the statue in the Capitol, said in a written statement. “He was the first North Carolina citizen to be enshrined in the United States Capitol and his likeness should remain in the Capitol in perpetuity.”

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Graham was named North Carolina’s “Favorite Son” by a unanimous vote of the North Carolina State General Assembly in 2013. In 2015, then-North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 540 into law, requiring a statue of Graham to be installed. represent the state in the US Capitol.

The statue:

According to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the statue was created in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, at Chas Fagan Fine Art. It was cast in bronze at Carolina Bronze Sculpture, a foundry in Seagrove, North Carolina, and the base of the statue is Salisbury granite from a quarry in Rowan County.

The base is engraved with two Bible verses – John 3:16 and John 14:6 – and also contains a plaque similar to Graham’s gravestone on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library: “Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

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The unveiling of the statue will take place during a private dedication ceremony at the National Statuary Hall. Members of the Graham family, along with House Speaker Mike Johnson, other congressional representatives and the North Carolina Statuary Hall Committee, will be at this event. There will also be special music by three-time Grammy winner Michael W. Smith.

The unveiling:

The unveiling of the statue will take place during a private dedication ceremony at the National Statuary Hall. Members of the Graham family, along with House Speaker Mike Johnson, other congressional representatives and the North Carolina Statuary Hall Committee, will be at the event. There will also be special music by three-time Grammy winner Michael W. Smith.

Each state has two statues representing important historical figures from their state, on display in the Hall, the Crypt, or the subsequent Capitol Visitor Center. With only 100 statues on display at any time, the addition of a sculpture for the National Statuary Hall statue is a rare and unique opportunity.

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Rev. Graham has the honor of being one of the few private citizens to receive three of Congress’ highest honors: the Congressional Gold Medal, which is laid in honor in the U.S. Capitol, and to have a statue created for Statuary Hall .