Public pays respect to the Rev. Billy Graham

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Hundreds of people have begun paying respect to the late Rev. Billy Graham at his restored boyhood in North Carolina.

Graham’s body, in a casket made by prison inmates, was in the parlor of the home Monday and will be there Tuesday. People of all ages and races arrived as light rain fell at Graham’s library when the gates opened.

Cecily Turner of Queens, New York, flew to Charlotte on Sunday to make sure she thanked the man she said saved her mother’s soul.

The 72-year-old grandmother of four says Graham’s 1957 crusade at New York’s Madison Square Garden means her soul is saved, as well as the souls of her five children.

Mourners began to file past Graham’s body at 8 a.m. Monday. The man called “America’s Pastor” is lying in repose in a closed casket at the home his father built in 1927 on their Charlotte dairy farm, which was long ago swallowed by urban sprawl. It was moved and restored by his library and is on the same campus as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Graham’s body will spend two days at his library and then lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday and Thursday. Graham’s funeral is Friday in North Carolina with President Donald Trump and others expected.

Graham died Wednesday at age 99.

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