U.S. Presidents Honor Their Pastor and Friend, Billy Graham

By   •   February 21, 2018

Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter with Billy and Franklin Graham at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library
President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham and President Jimmy Carter all came together for the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in 2007.

During his lifetime, Billy Graham met with 13 U.S. presidents. Commonly known as the “pastor to presidents,” many of the nation’s leaders looked to him for spiritual guidance and prayer, and thought of him as a good friend. Several have shared personal stories of their time with him. Since his passing, numerous presidents have expressed their condolences.

President Donald Trump:

Melania and I join millions of people around the world in mourning the passing of Billy Graham. Our prayers are with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who worked closely with Reverend Graham in his lifelong ministry.

Billy’s acceptance of Jesus Christ around his seventeenth birthday not only changed his life—it changed our country and the world. He was one of the towering figures of the last 100 years—an American hero whose life and leadership truly earned him the title “God’s Ambassador.”

Billy’s unshakeable belief in the power of God’s word to transform hearts gave hope to all who listened to his simple message: “God loves you.” He carried this message around the world through his crusades, bringing entire generations to faith in Jesus Christ.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001, America turned to Billy Graham at the National Cathedral, who told us, “God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest.”

Reverend Graham would be the first to say that he did not do it alone. Before her passing, his wife Ruth was by his side through it all—a true partner, a wonderful mother, and a fellow missionary soul. He also built an international team and institution that will continue to carry on Christ’s message.

Melania and I were privileged to get to know Reverend Graham and his extraordinary family over the last several years, and we are deeply grateful for their love and support.

Billy Graham was truly one of a kind. Christians and people of all faiths and backgrounds will miss him dearly. We are thinking of him today, finally at home in Heaven.

President Barack Obama:

Billy Graham was a humble servant who prayed for so many—and who, with wisdom and grace, gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans.

President George W. Bush:

A great man, a humble servant, and a shepherd to millions has passed on. Billy Graham was a consequential leader. He had a powerful, captivating presence and a keen mind. He was full of kindness and grace. His love for Christ and his gentle soul helped open hearts to the Word, including mine. Laura and I are thankful for the life of Billy Graham, and we send our heartfelt condolences to the Graham family.

President Bill Clinton:

Hillary and I are saddened by the passing of our friend Billy Graham, one of the most important religious leaders in American history. His powerful words and the conviction they carried touched countless hearts and minds.

I will never forget the first time I saw him, 60 years ago in Little Rock, during the school integration struggle. He filled a football stadium with a fully integrated audience, reminding them that we all come before God as equals, both in our imperfection and our absolute claim to amazing grace.

Later as Governor, in the White House, and afterward, I saw him live that faith fully in the constant kindness, encouragement, and counsel he extended to Hillary and me.

Billy has finished his long good race, leaving our world a better place and claiming his place in glory.

President George H.W. Bush:

Billy Graham was America’s pastor. His faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people across the country and around the world. I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man. I was privileged to have him as a personal friend…He was a mentor to several of my children, including the former president of the United States. We will miss our good friend forever.

President Jimmy Carter:

Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of the Reverend Billy Graham. Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve. He had an enormous influence on my own spiritual life, and I was pleased to count Reverend Graham among my advisers and friends.

Share how Billy Graham had an impact on your life.

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  1. Ann justice says:

    He gave me strength to keep moving on through many painful times. Thank you Rev. Billy Graham, may you rest in God’s loving care.

  2. NATALIE EYMAN says:

    I am Japanese. When I was 23 years old, I met a missionary from the U.S. and he gave me a book by Billy Graham. I read it and believed in Jesus Christ. I was baptized in a river. Billy Graham changed my life to be Christian.

  3. Bonnye Manfredi says:

    My father’s life and my life were transformed by God’s powerful words spoken through Reverend Graham. My Father was called to meet our Lord and Savior 34 years ago. It brings me such comfort that my father is not only with our Lord, but also in the radiant company of Reverend Graham!

  4. deb says:

    My favorite story of Billy Graham was when he was visiting Russia and his guide took him to Lenin’s tomb. The guide said, “Here lies our Stalin who was a great man, and he did not believe in your God. Billy’s response was, “Well he does now.”

  5. joan dozier says:

    Mr. Graham truly was a minister of the gospel, and each time I heard him, it was an inspiration to draw closer to my Savior. I will continue to read his books and support the Graham team ministry. May God bless you.

  6. Edna McCoy says:

    A true follower of Christ! Loved his teaching of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May he rest in Christ.

  7. Ray Delgado says:

    My wife and I received Christ at a Crusade in 1971 in Oakland, CA. Thank God for Billy Graham.

  8. Betty Jarratt says:

    I accepted our Lord and Savior watching and listening to a broadcast in Feb. 1973. I love Him dearly.