Evangelist Billy Graham speaks at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 31, 2007. Ahead of the funeral ceremony, his mortal remains were brought from Asheville to Charlotte on Saturday through a ceremonial motorcade as hundreds took to the streets to pay their last respects.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association estimates that he has preached live to almost 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories, and hundreds of millions of more people through television, video, film and webcasts.
The procession reached the Billy Graham Library literally four hours after it left the training center to head for Charlotte, where the evangelist was born. I remember thinking 'I flew this whole way and they're bringing him in from the other side?' Then all of a sudden, from behind us, a voice said, 'Sometimes you've got to create a distraction to get a second to yourself.' And there he was.
The procession is part of more than a week of mourning for "America's Pastor", culminating with his burial next week at his library in Charlotte.
Adults and children stood behind wooden barricades and yellow tape, police officers saluted, and admirers captured the moment on cellphones along the route.
A viewing will be held at the library in Charlotte on Monday and Tuesday. A man played bagpipes at a highway rest area near Marion, where an overpass was draped with flags from about 15 nations. People took pictures with their cell phones as the procession went through Black Mountain.
"He has never really reveled in all of the celebrity".
"He was so bold, he so boldly confessed the word of God", said Madeline Reid. "And I believe because of his service to humanity, that he's truly gonna be great in the kingdom of heaven".
Graham once said: "Jesus Christ, the son of God, has an answer to every problem that you face!" "Not in my lifetime". His coffin was built by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, who typically construct caskets for fellow prisoners who can not afford them.
It will be a tribute to the 1949 Los Angeles tent revivals that made Graham famous, said family spokesman Mark DeMoss.
Graham's funeral on Friday will be attended by around 2,300 people, include Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and all living former presidents of the US.