02.28.18

Senators Burr and Tillis Pass Resolution to Honor Life of Reverend Billy Graham

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis released the following statement on the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 53, honoring the life of Reverend William “Billy” F. Graham, Jr.:

“I’m honored to be able to pass this resolution on behalf of Rev. Graham’s family and the millions of people across the world whose lives and faith were made stronger by Rev. Graham,” said Senator Burr. “His was a life fully lived, bringing so many people closer to God. Our hearts are with the late Reverend’s family. May he rest in everlasting peace.”

“Reverend Billy Graham was a proud North Carolinian whose devotion to faith and the Gospel bettered our country and the world,” said Senator Tillis. “I’m proud to introduce this resolution to celebrate his life and legacy as America’s Pastor.”

Background Information

Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis were joined by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), Senator Cory Gardener (R-CO), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator David Perdue (R-GA), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Senator John Thune (R-SD), Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Senators Burr and Tillis jointly introduced Senate Joint Resolution 53, honoring the life of William “Billy” F. Graham Jr. The text of the resolution reads as follows:

JOINT RESOLUTION 

Honoring the life of William ‘‘Billy’’ F. Graham, Jr. 

Whereas William ‘‘Billy’’ F. Graham, Jr., was born on November 7, 1918, in Charlotte, North Carolina;

Whereas, in 1939, Reverend Graham was ordained by Peniel Baptist Church in Florida;

Whereas Reverend Graham studied at Florida Bible Institute and graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1943;

Whereas Reverend Graham married his wife of nearly 64 years, Ruth McCue Bell, in 1943;

Whereas Reverend Graham had 3 daughters, 2 sons, 19 grandchildren, and numerous great grandchildren;

Whereas, in 1950, Reverend Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina;

Whereas Reverend Graham preached to nearly 215,000,000 individuals in more than 185 countries and territories on 6 continents;

Whereas Reverend Graham provided spiritual counsel for every President since Harry Truman;

Whereas Reverend Graham prayed with members of the Armed Forces in combat zones in South Korea and Vietnam;

Whereas Reverend Graham spoke against the communist Soviet Union, saying, ‘‘Communism has decided against God, against Christ, against the Bible, and against all religion.’’;

Whereas Reverend Graham—

(1) fought for racial integration;

(2) invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to preach

with him in New York City in 1957; and

(3) bailed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., out of jail

when Dr. King was arrested for protesting segregation;

Whereas, following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Reverend Graham spoke words of hope and comfort to the people of the United States at the Washington National Cathedral;

Whereas Reverend Graham authored 34 books, including the bestselling autobiography, ‘‘Just as I Am’’, which began by discussing his early days on a dairy farm in North Carolina and continued through his career as a preacher and evangelist; and

Whereas Reverend Graham received numerous honors, including—

(1) the North Carolina Award for Public Service;

(2) the Presidential Medal of Freedom;

(3) the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award; and

(4) the Congressional Gold Medal: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

That Congress—

(1) extends its sympathies to the family of William ‘‘Billy’’ F. Graham, Jr.; and

(2) honors—

(A) the life and ministry of Reverend Graham; and

(B) the contributions of Reverend Graham

to—

(i) the State of North Carolina;

                                   (ii) the United States of America; and

(iii) the moral and religious lives of millions of individuals.