An article in today’s Tennessean announces that today the Southern Baptist Convention is unveiling a statue of Billy Graham, the leading evangelist of the the 20th Century–some might say of all time.
From the article: “The statue of Graham holding a Bible in one outstretched hand and standing in front of a 17-foot-tall cross will be permanently installed at Commerce Street and Eighth Avenue, on property owned by LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
On the same day, an unreal article in the Washington Post tells of conflict in the Graham family about where Billy and his wife will be buried. Ruth Graham, who raised five children in the mountains of North Carolina while Billy was on the road saving souls, wants to rest not far from the couple’s Montreat home. Franklin Graham, the son who now leads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has other plans, wanting to bury his parents in a “library” theme-park in Charlotte.
Here’s a paragraph from the article–the “she” is novelist Patricia Cornwell: “The building, designed in part by consultants who used to work for the Walt Disney Co., is not a library, she says, but a large barn and silo — a reminder of Billy Graham’s early childhood on a dairy farm near Charlotte. Once it’s completed in the spring, visitors will pass through a 40-foot-high glass entry cut in the shape of a cross and be greeted by a mechanical talking cow. They will follow a path of straw through rooms full of multimedia exhibits. At the end of the tour, they will be pointed toward a stone walk, also in the shape of a cross, that leads to a garden where the bodies of Billy and Ruth Graham could lie.”