MONTREAT, N.C., April 17, 2013 – The life, music and ministry of George Beverly Shea will be celebrated during a funeral service on April 21 at 3 p.m. at Anderson Auditorium in Montreat, N.C. Shea passed away Tuesday at the age of 104.
The service will be open to the public, and doors will open at 1:45 p.m. Parking for the service will be available at various locations in Black Mountain, N.C. Signage and attendants will be present to direct traffic flow. Shuttle buses will bring guests to the funeral service and back to the lot after the service. Shuttle service will begin 1:30 p.m. and will end one hour after the conclusion
The funeral service will be televised live on UNC-TV.
Shea will be laid to rest on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte during a private ceremony on Monday, April 22. The Billy Graham Library and grounds will be closed to the public during this service and will again be open for visitors on Tuesday, April 23.
“Bev was one of the most humble and greatest Christians I have ever known,” said Billy Graham in a statement. “He has set an example and has been a role model of what a Christian ought to be. His contribution to my ministry cannot be measured in human terms.”
Often referred to as “America’s beloved gospel singer,” Shea was born in Winchester, Ontario, February 1, 1909, where his father was a Wesleyan Methodist minister. Shea became a part of the Graham team in the 1940s, first through radio and then as part of the evangelistic ministry that was launched to national prominence during the 1949 Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles.
Over the years, Shea sang hundreds of concerts and recorded more than 70 albums of sacred music. He was the recipient of ten Grammy nominations, a Grammy Award in 1965, and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammy organization in 2011. In 1978, Shea was inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, and in 1996 he was elected to the Religious Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He also wrote the music to “I’d Rather Have Jesus” and other widely sung hymns.