North Carolina Honors Rev. Billy Graham with Capitol Statue Unveiling

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In the venerable chambers of the U.S. Capitol, North Carolina is set to reveal its representation in the form of a towering statue of the much-revered Rev. Billy Graham. The towering figure, crafted out of bronze and stretching upward an impressive seven feet, is scheduled for unveiling next week in the prestigious National Statuary Hall. The event, expected to infuse the stolid atmosphere of the hall with its own unique fervor, will reportedly be attended by House Speaker Mike Johnson, other distinguished members of Congress, and descendants of the celebrated, Charlotte-born evangelist.

The commencement of this tribute to one of Carolina’s most influential sons was laid in legislative stone five years ago by the North Carolina General Assembly. The assembly petitioned a congressional committee for a statue of Rev. Billy Graham to add another iconic figure in the commemorative hall. However, according to mandates, a person’s statue can only be erected posthumously. With the passing of Rev. Graham in 2018 at the venerable age of 99, the restraints fell away and the tribute could proceed.

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The gallery, echoing with the silent whispers of the nation’s history, will accommodate only two statues per state. The Graham statue, thus, will replace that of 20th century Governor Charles Aycock. Although remembered as a pioneering advocate of education, Aycock’s reputation has been tainted by his unsettling connections to the white supremacy movement of his era.

Teeming with profound symbolism, the Graham statue––crafted by the talented hand of Charlotte-based artist, Chas Fagan––presents the evangelist with a suggestively open Bible. The grand figure, bronzed in the artisan community of Seagrove, balances on a base masterfully hewn from Rowan County granite. Inscribed on the statue’s base are two passages from the Bible, encapsulating the essence of Graham’s global evangelistic crusade.

Sharing North Carolina’s dignified corner of the National Statuary Hall will be a statue of Civil War-era Gov. Zebulon Vance, whose political career embraced the roles of Confederate military officer and U.S. senator.

Rev. Billy Graham, among the many honors accorded him, boasted the distinction of being history’s most widely heard Christian evangelist. Throughout his life, he delivered his gospel message in person to an astonishing audience of more than 210 million people worldwide. His continuing legacy will now be etched in bronze and granite in the historical heart of the United States.