President Donald Trump was among the many voices mourning the loss of Billy Graham on Wednesday morning when the iconic pastor passed away.
Trump wrote “there was nobody like him. He will be missed by Christians and all religions.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who is known for his staunch evangelicalism, also mourned Graham, calling the late pastor “one of the greatest Americans of the 20th century.”
Graham never endorsed a candidate in the 2016 election, but his son Franklin Graham did push for evangelicals to vote for Donald Trump, writing just before the election, “Evangelicals are going to have to decide which candidate they trust to nominate men and women to the court who will defend the constitution and support religious freedoms. My prayer is that Christians will no be deceived by the liberal media about what is at stake for future generations.”
Franklin Graham, who has taken up his father’s message also read a passage from the bible during Trump’s inauguration. It was raining during the chilly January 20th morning when Trump became president and Franklin famously said “Mr. President, in the Bible, rain is a sign of God’s blessing … and it started to rain, Mr. President, when you came to the platform. And it’s my prayer that God will bless you, your family, your administration, and may He bless America.”
Billy Graham died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday morning at the age of 99. The man of God reached over 200 million people in his time as a preacher — which stretched over nearly half a century.
Billy Graham’s enormous popularity led him to become a “pastor to presidents.” He met with every president since Harry Truman and was close with Dwight Eisenhower before that. Ronald Reagan was a close friend with Graham for years before he ascended to the Oval Office and Graham often went to Lyndon B. Johnson’s ranch in Texas.
Trump and Pence were only two of the prominent figures mourning Graham; President Obama met with Graham in 2010.
Melania Trump wrote that Graham will be “deeply missed.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan both released statements mourning the pastor.
John McCain called Graham “a great American & faithful Christians who inspired millions of people with the gospel message.”