Evangelist Minister Billy Graham Dies at 99

EBONY archives

Evangelist Billy Graham, regarded as one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century,  died on Wednesday.

BBC reports the former Southern Baptist minister passed away at 99 years old in his North Carolina home. Graham was ordained as a minister in 1939 when he was only 21 years old. In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, he was the subject of a powerful editorial titled “No Color Line in Heaven” in the Sept. 1957 edition of EBONY.

“There are a lot of segregationists who are going to be sadly disillusioned when they get to heaven—if they get there,” he told EBONY.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. paid condolences to the late minister on Twitter:

Barack Obama, who visited Graham in 2010, also paid his respects:

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Graham preached to hundreds of millions in his 60-year career in which he ministered around the globe from Nigeria to Korea. In 1950, he founded the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

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