Statue of Famed Christian Leader Unveiled at Capitol

( – House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) unveiled a statue commemorating the late Reverend Billy Graham at the U.S. Capitol in a ceremony alongside members of Graham’s family.

In an exclusive interview, Johnson and Reverend Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, shared their first impressions of the 7-foot-tall bronze sculpture. This statue celebrates their chosen historical figures, one of two that North Carolina is entitled to display in the Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall.

During the conference, Franklin Graham expressed his admiration for the statue’s portrayal of his father holding an open Bible. “I like the fact that he’s holding the word of God in his hand,” Graham remarked.

He highlighted the significance of the Bible in his father’s life and ministry, noting, “And my father always took the Bible to the pulpit with him. Even though he may have had the passage typed out in front of him in his notes, he still held the Bible because he wanted that to remind people of the authority of the scripture.”

Johnson, who described himself as deeply religious, admitted to feeling particularly anxious about speaking at the dedication. “I really was, and we’ve even done some other unveiling of statues at Statuary Hall and other things that I don’t typically get nerves about speaking,” he said.

“But today I did because it’s Billy Graham and right before we walked in, they handed me his study Bible with his notes in it,” he added.

Moreover, Johnson also reflected on the ceremony and said it was a touching moment when people talked and showed genuine emotion.

Billy Graham, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 99, was a renowned Christian evangelist who preached in person to nearly 215 million people globally. He had connections with every U.S. president from Harry Truman onward, significantly influencing both political and spiritual spheres.

At the ceremony, Johnson recited a passage from Galatians 6:14 from Graham’s study bible, which was notably the last sermon Billy Graham had planned to deliver, as Franklin Graham revealed.

Likewise, he shared his father’s legacy and how he wished to be remembered: “He wanted ‘Preacher of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ’ on his tombstone. That’s who he is,” Franklin concluded, “a preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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