World celebrated American preacher Billy Graham who died on Wednesday has been mourned by people across the world, including President Donald Trump who said in a tweet that Ã¢â‚¬Å“the GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The evangelist, whose voice changed the lives of millions, died on Wednesday at his home in Montreat, North Carolina at 99.
His spokesman Jeremy Blume confirmed his death to CNN on Wednesday, with the news medium describing the deceased as Ã¢â‚¬Å“a confidant to presidents, a guiding light to generations of American evangelicals and a globe-trotting preacher who converted millions to Christianity.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The preacher with the booming voice reportedly evangelized to nearly 215 million people over six decades and prayed with US presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.
Several presidents, including Lyndon Johnson, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, relied closely on his spiritual counsel.
Vice President Mike Pence said in a statement that Ã¢â‚¬Å“Karen and I were saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest Americans of the 20th century, Reverend Billy Graham.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We send our deepest condolences to the Graham family. Billy GrahamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ministry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his matchless voice changed the lives of millions. We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, Ã¢â‚¬ËœWell done, good and faithful servant.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Thank you Billy Graham. God bless you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement that he and his wife Rosalynn Ã¢â‚¬Å“are deeply saddenedÃ¢â‚¬Â at the news of GrahamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death and that he was Ã¢â‚¬Å“pleased to count Reverend GrahamÃ¢â‚¬Â as a friend and adviser.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide,Ã¢â‚¬Â Carter said in a statement. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve. He had an enormous influence on my own spiritual life.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Former President George H.W. Bush called Graham Ã¢â‚¬Å“AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pastorÃ¢â‚¬Â and said he was a mentor to several of his children, including former President George W. Bush.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“His faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people across the country and around the world. I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man,Ã¢â‚¬Â the elder Bush said in a statement
Bush said he was Ã¢â‚¬Å“privilegedÃ¢â‚¬Â to count Graham as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“personal friend.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He would come to Maine to visit with Barbara and me, and he was a great sport. He loved going really fast in my boat. I guess you could say we had that in common. Then we would come home and talk about life.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said on Twitter that Graham was Ã¢â‚¬Å“the most important evangelist since the Apostle Paul.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He preached Christ, not himself, not politics, not prosperity,Ã¢â‚¬Â Moore said, adding that Graham also Ã¢â‚¬Å“carried unimpeachable personal integrity.Ã¢â‚¬Â