Hundreds of Billy Graham admirers brave grumpy weather on Monday morning after the opportunity to walk past his closed coffin on the grounds of Charlotte's Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The Charlotte-born preacher who later became the most famous evangelist in American history died Wednesday at his home in Montreat at the age of 99. This week will be a series of events dedicated to his remarkable life, including a chance for mourners to celebrate their attendance Monday and Tuesday in Charlotte. Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura will visit on Monday around 3pm.
Charles Connor III. Catawba County got up at 4 am to be one of the first members of the public to leave the coffin behind
"It's just history," said Connor, 60, an insurance broker. "We are lucky to have lived in this area in the time of Billy Graham."
Connor and his wife went to Graham's 1
He said he had to return to the city on Monday morning to pay his respects.
"I heard someone say that Billy Graham preached to more people that the 12 (apostles) combined," said Connor. "So, what excuse would not I have come here? None."
Alexander Dancy, 8, also saw Graham's casket.
"I wanted to honor him," said Alexander, a third grader at Selwyn Elementary, wearing a Carolina Panthers shirt. "He was a strong man of God, he deserved to go to heaven."
Graham is on Monday and Tuesday in the apartment where he lived as a boy. It was built in 1927 on the dairy farm of the Graham family and moved in 2006 to the site of the library.
Shuttle buses take people from 8:00 to 22:00 to the construction site. Mourners stand in line in front of the house before moving in.
Graham's wooden casket with a cross nailed to the front is set on a black stretcher This was once the living room of his family's house on Park Road, with a cross-shaped arrangement of lilies standing beside the coffin.
There is a respectful silence as people walk through.
A woman stopped in front of the door Casket held up her right hand as people in the church do when they pray.
The living room and other parts of the house look like they did in the 1930s Years ago, with old-fashioned furniture and lamps, which were lit on Monday.