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Pastor Billy Graham dies aged 99 after a lifetime serving as a spiritual leader to millions of people and multiple US presidents

 Gone: Billy Graham (above in 1989) passed away at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday at the age of 99

Famed evangelist Billy Graham has passed away.

A spokesperson announced on Wednesday that the man known as ‘America’s Pastor’ had lost his life at the age of 99 after a lifetime devoted to his faith.

Graham, who passed away of natural causes at his North Carolina home, served as a spiritual leader to hundreds of millions of Americans as well as multiple presidents.

He is survived by his five children with wife Ruth Bell, who passed away in 2007, and 19 grandchildren.

Man of faith: He was a spiritual advisor to multiple presidents, including George W Bush (pair above in 2010) 

Man of faith: He was a spiritual advisor to multiple presidents, including George W Bush (pair above in 2010)

Graham was a confidant to President Dwight Eisenhower and President George W. Bush, as well as many of the men that served in between those two leaders.

President Reagan gave Graham the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983, and when the Billy Graham Museum and Library was dedicated back in 2007, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were among those in attendance.

‘When he prays with you in the Oval Office or upstairs in the White House, you feel he’s praying for you, not the president, said Clinton in his speech that day.

Graham also traveled extensively, giving leadership summits and preaching over 185 countries while also becoming the first spiritual leader to take advantage of telecasts, reaching millions through television and radio appearances.

In the end, he preached to over 200 million people over the course of his lifetime, and at one point prayed with every single president since Harry Truman.

He was also close with Dr. Martin Luther King, who credited Graham with the playing a huge role in the success of the civil rights movement.

Graham refused to segregate his audiences starting in 1953, and would later decline invitations to hold one of his famed crusades in South Africa during apartheid.

‘Had it not been for the ministry of my good friend Dr. Billy Graham, my work in the Civil Rights Movement would not have been as successful as it has been,’ said Dr. King of Graham.

He was also a huge inspiration to Vice President Mike Pence, who shared his thoughts about Graham’s passing on Twitter.

‘Karen and I were saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest Americans of the century, Reverend Billy Graham. We send our deepest condolences to the Graham family,’ wrote Pence.

‘Billy Graham’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, “well done good and faithful servant.” Thank you Billy Graham. God bless you.’

No one was more important in his life however than his wife Ruth, of whom he famously said: ‘When it comes to spiritual things, my wife has had the greatest influence on my ministry.’

Source: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5417629/Pastor-Billy-Graham-dies-aged-99.html#ixzz57kiHtZlh

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