Rev. Billy Graham, known as ‘America’s Pastor,’ dies at 99

MONTREAT, N.C. (AP) — The Rev. Billy Graham, the magnetic, movie-star-handsome preacher who became a singular force in postwar American religious life, a confidant of presidents a

Source: Rev. Billy Graham, known as ‘America’s Pastor,’ dies at 99

MONTREAT, N.C. (AP) — The Rev. Billy Graham, the magnetic, movie-star-handsome preacher who became a singular force in postwar American religious life, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died Wednesday at 99.

“America’s Pastor,” as he was dubbed, had suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments and died at his home in North Carolina.

More than anyone else, Graham built evangelicalism into a force that rivaled liberal Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in the U.S. His leadership summits and crusades in more than 185 countries and territories forged powerful global links among conservative Christians and threw a lifeline to believers in the communist bloc.

Tributes to Graham poured in from major leaders, with President Donald Trump tweeting: “The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.” Former President Barack Obama said Graham “gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans.”

A tall, striking man with thick, swept-back hair, stark blue eyes and a firm jaw, Graham was a commanding presence in the pulpit, with a powerful baritone voice.

“The Bible says,” was his catchphrase. His unquestioning belief in Scripture turned the Gospel into a “rapier” in his hands, he said.

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