• Followers from Montreat to Charlotte remember the Rev. Graham

    By: Dave Faherty , Greg Suskin

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Rev. Billy Graham had been living in Montreat east of Asheville and on Wednesday, the day he died, there was a procession there as people looked on, honoring the man who touched so many lives.

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    There was prayer service on the campus of Montreat College, where Graham affected many lives.

    Sheriff deputies led the procession away from Graham's home to Asheville and as it passed, onlookers along the streets took their hats off and placed their hands on their hearts out of respect.

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    The Rev. Bill Solomon, who lives in Montreat, said Graham changed his life when he heard him preach when he was 12 years old and at that point, he knew he was going to be a pastor.

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    Solomon, who is now 78 years old, remembers what Graham said that day in 1951. 

    "’There may be some of you out here considering Christian work,’” Solomon recalls Graham saying. “’Maybe you may need to think of dedicating your life to the cause of the gospel.’ I went forward that night as a 12-year old and that began my preparation for the gospel. I went to the seminary and I pastored 54 years."

    Solomon preached at 13 different churches through the years.

    On Wednesday, Solomon and others gathered and prayed for Graham and his family.

    Many people who were inspired by Graham visited The Billy Graham Library Wednesday in Charlotte to pay their respects.

    "I think he reached all cultures, no matter what religion or ethnicity, and that's what he preached about was that," Linda Johnson said.

    "In this day and time, it's a great reminder of the legacy we all can live if we follow in the footsteps of someone like Billy Graham," Meg Spivey said.

    Some said Graham wouldn't have wanted mourners to focus on him Wednesday but would be urging them to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

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