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:
Blessed with length of years and service, Rev. Graham helped a lot of people against a backdrop of Southern culture. He's on the plus side of history. May his soul Rest In Peace.
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) February 21, 2018
Barack Obama, who visited Graham in 2010, also paid his respects:
Billy Graham was a humble servant who prayed for so many – and who, with wisdom and grace, gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 21, 2018