Until his last day on earth, 99-year-old Reverend Billy Graham led a life worth aspiring to. He dedicated his livelihood to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Known as America’s pastor, Reverend Graham preached the Good News to millions over his lifetime and inspired faithfulness around the world with his simple, yet powerful message.
The Reverend famously said, “I am not going to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds or read the Bible many times. I'm going to Heaven just like the thief on the cross who said in that last moment: 'Lord, remember me.’” It was with this Christian principle that he taught millions that the grace of God, not our human works, alone would bring salvation.
After the passing of Reverend Graham last week, Congress came together in a decision to honor him in a special way. Leadership from the House and Senate decided jointly that Reverend Graham would lie in honor in the heart of Washington, D.C., the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. He would be only the fourth private citizen to be honored in the Rotunda and the first religious figure to lie in honor.
I was filled with awe when participating in Reverend Graham’s ceremony in the Rotunda. Among his family members, members of Congress, government officials, and President Trump, I recognized perhaps the greatest impact he had on our society: his works of unity.
Not only was this man an incredibly influential pastor over the last 60 years, but in the Capitol that day, he brought a spirit of unity to everyone gathered there. His love of the Lord had the ability to bring people of all different backgrounds together—regardless of race, socioeconomic class, location, or political party. On the day he lie in honor, our country was united together to recall that ‘In God We Trust.’
Reverend Billy Graham joined the Lord on February 21, 2018, but his memory lives on in those whom he taught to be believers of Christ. “My home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” After a life well-lived, Reverend Graham is home.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) represents the second district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached through http://mullin.house.gov, and at 3109 Azalea Park Drive, Muskogee, OK, 74401, 918-687-2533 or 202-225-2701