• The Latest: Billy Graham's casket brought in for funeral

    Updated:
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on the funeral of the Rev. Billy Graham (all times local):

    12:05 p.m.

    The Rev. Billy Graham's casket has been brought into a tent filled with mourners to start his funeral service.

    Graham's grandchildren served as pallbearers.

    The pine casket lined with a mattress pad was made by prisoners at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.

    Graham's son Franklin was moved by seeing inmates build similar ones for other prisoners who couldn't afford caskets.

    Graham's wife was buried in one of them in 2007.

    Billy Graham's family says the casket was made with no upgrades, and only minor modifications to allow for easy transport.

    The tent holding 2,000 or so mourners on Friday was inspired by the tent Graham used for the Los Angeles.

    ___

    Noon

    President Donald Trump has arrived at the funeral for the Rev. Billy Graham in North Carolina.

    Trump is on hand to pay his respects along with Vice President Mike Pence, but neither are scheduled to address the crowd. Trump spoke earlier in the week in the Capitol Rotunda where Graham lay in honor.

    Trump, Pence and their wives met privately with the Graham family before the service. Then they were escorted to their seats in the large tent where the service is being held.

    Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton came to the public viewing of Graham's casket in Charlotte earlier in the week. The younger Bush said his father couldn't make it to a memorial service. Former presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter also said they weren't able to attend.

    ___

    11:15 a.m.

    President Donald Trump has arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, to attend the funeral of the Rev. Billy Graham.

    Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived shortly after 11 a.m. EST Friday.

    The president is not scheduled to speak at the funeral at Graham's namesake library in Charlotte.

    Trump eulogized Graham earlier this week during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, where Graham's body lay in honor in the Rotunda.

    Graham died last week at age 99.

    ___

    11:10 a.m.

    Famous mourners from the world of music, television and evangelism are arriving ahead of the funeral for the Rev. Billy Graham in North Carolina.

    Television host Kathie Lee Gifford, musician Ricky Skaggs and evangelist Rick Warren are among those who have come to the tent in Charlotte where the service is being held.

    Gifford told reporters that Graham always remained humble through his faith.

    Warren said Graham was a major influence on how he learned how to preach.

    9:35 a.m.

    It's a cold but sunny morning in Charlotte, North Carolina, where mourners wearing scarves, overcoats and ear muffs are filing into a huge tent where the funeral service for the Rev. Billy Graham will be held.

    People began arriving as early at 7 a.m. on Friday, well in advance of the scheduled noon start for the services. Most people were standing around talking to one another as recorded hymns were played. Some 2,000 people are expected to attend, including President Donald Trump.

    A steady breeze was flowing through the tent, adding to the morning chill and offsetting the clear skies. Winds were expected to be gusty throughout the morning.

    ___

    3:24 a.m.

    Mourners are gathering to pay their respects to the Rev. Billy Graham at a funeral that marks the culmination of more than a week of tributes to "America's Pastor."

    The service, scheduled to start at noon Friday, is to include performances by musicians who shared the stage with Graham at his crusades. The Rev. Franklin Graham will deliver the main funeral address for his father after personal messages from Billy Graham's three daughters and younger son. President Donald Trump is expected to attend, but isn't scheduled to speak.

    The funeral planning began a decade ago with Billy Graham himself, and grew into his family's desire to capture the feeling of the crusades that made the world's best-known Protestant preacher of his era.

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