SPRINGFIELD, MO (02/21/18) - The man that was known as ‘America’s Pastor’ has passed away at the age of 99 at his home in North Carolina from natural causes. The Reverend Billy Graham traveled to audiences in more than 185 countries and even came to Springfield.
Former president of Evangel University, Robert Spence, saying it’s the biggest crowd he’s ever seen. “Every seat was occupied and we had folding chairs in every place that was permissible to put them."
Spence, says it was 1982 when Billy Graham came to visit. “I got the news very early this morning. But as I reflected on it I would sum it up like this, here is a life well lived.”
The traveling southern Evangelist had an estimated audience of 215 million people that followed his teachings. He is hailed for confronting racism during the civil rights movement, advising decades of U.S. Presidents, and being outspoken.
"He stood, he just stood, for what was right and god blessed him," said Spence.
Paul Logsdon, an Evangel spokesman, says that over 2,000 people came to see Graham during his sermon. And a dinner held afterwards, Spence says hundreds more came to see him.
“I’m very thankful that I had an opportunity to observe him and even get acquainted with him," explains Spence. "He never changed his message. It was still simple, straight forward Jesus Christ, the answer.”