Rev. Graham leaves lasting memories with Samaritan's Purse

BOONE, N.C. — Rev. Billy Graham's message lives on today in many ways, including through Samaritan's Purse, an organization run by his son, Franklin Graham.

Officials with Samaritan's Purse aren't making any public comment yet in regard to Graham’s death, but they said they are privately grieving and supporting the Graham family.

Near the headquarters in Boone, people had plenty to say about the organization's loss.

"I just paused for a moment and thought, ‘What a wonderful, godly man he was. What an example to all of us. What an inspiration to the country,’” Boone resident Diane Ford said.

Ford said her husband volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse, and they go to Kenya each year.

Samaritan's Purse has been around for more than 40 years, committed to the world's poor, sick and suffering, victims of war, disease and natural disaster.

The organization is famous for its airlifts, not just of food, water and medicine, but also Christmas gifts.

"He led a good life,” said Boone resident Brooks McCloud. “He really did from what I understand."

With Franklin Graham as president since 1979, Billy Graham is still in people’s minds.

"I’m glad he's in a better place,” Ford said.

Samaritan's Purse posted a quote on its website, along with a picture of Billy Graham, with the saying, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord … that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."