America Remembers Ruth Graham

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Ruth Graham, who went home to be with the Lord on June 14, will be missed by many.

Click play to hear what Americans had to say at Ruth Graham's memorial. Click here to watch her memorial service.

A public funeral service to honor Rutn Graham was held Saturday, June 16 in Anderson Auditorium at the Montreat Conference Center, in Montreat, N.C.  Click here to watch the funeral ceremony.

Across the nation, responses to her death portray the devoted wife of Rev. Billy Graham as a woman of godly integrity.

Family Reaction

At home, Ruth Graham was loved, appreciated and looked up to as a spiritual giant.

Reflecting upon memories of his wife, Billy Graham said, "Ruth was my life partner, and we were called by God as a team."

"No one else could have borne the load that she carried," the evangelist continued. "She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support."

Billy Graham will covet the time he had with Ruth during her last years.

"I am so grateful to the Lord that He gave me Ruth, and especially for these last few years we've had in the mountains together. We rekindled the romance of our youth, and my love for her continued to grow deeper every day," Graham recollected. "I will miss her terribly and look forward even more to the day I can join her in heaven."

The Graham's son, Franklin, who is the head over the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, fondly remembers his mother as a pillar of strength.

"My father would not have been what he is today if it wasn't for my mother," Franklin Graham said. "She stood strong for what was biblically correct and accurate."

Daughter Anne Graham Lotz saw Ruth Graham as her spiritual mentor.

"My mother was in love with Jesus…and that love was contagious," Lotz shared. "She wasn't caught up in religion or tradition or rituals-she was caught up in a personal relationship with Jesus."

After reminiscing about her mother praying on her knees in the wee hours of the night and reading her Bible at length every morning, Lotz spoke of Ruth's relationship with Christ.

"She taught me by her example that Jesus is everything," reflected Lotz. "He was the wellspring of her love and joy and peace that overflowed into our home. His presence was enough to ease the pain of her loneliness without Daddy."

Lotz's sister, Ruth Graham, helped explain the remarkable strength and integrity of her mother.

"How does one live with one of the world's most famous men?" questioned daughter Ruth. "God began training my mother for this position years ago in China. Her parents exercised a profound effect upon the development of her character and laid the foundations for who she was."

Reflections from Christians and Politicians

Both Christian and political leaders recognize Ruth Graham not only as a champion of her faith, but also as an encouragement to the weak.

CBN Founder Pat Robertson was deeply moved by the parting of Ruth Graham.

"I join with millions who mourn the passing of a great saint of God, Ruth Graham," Robertson said. "For decades Ruth Graham has been an inspiration to us all and a tower of strength for her husband who has been the pre-eminent evangelist of the twentieth century."

Robertson found consolation in knowing Ruth's new home, "Her health struggles are now over and she is with the Lord she served so well."

President Bush offered his family's condolences after getting word that Billy Graham's wife passed away the afternoon of June 14.

"Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Ruth Bell Graham, a remarkable woman of faith whose life was defined by her belief in a personal, loving and gracious God," the president said. "She was an encouraging friend, accomplished poet and devoted mother of five and grandmother of 19."

Former president Jimmy Carter also spoke on Ruth Graham's passing.

"Rosalynn and I are saddened to learn of the death of Ruth Graham. She was a vibrant and nurturing soul, who was steadfast in her faith and support of her husband's ministry," Carter commented. "Our prayers are with the Rev. Billy Graham and his family at this time of loss."

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke of how her life reflected her faith.

"As a devoted wife and mother, and a trusted counselor to many, Ruth Bell Graham lived the life her husband preached," McConnell said. "Her books and teachings were an inspiration to generations of Americans. And her quiet acceptance of suffering and illness toward the end of her journey were a powerful witness to the Gospel she loved."

Rev. Richard White, Ruth Graham's pastor , said she was that "one in a million" person.

"There's no one else like Ruth Graham. She had the ability to move among presidents and leaders but then turn right around and clean the oven of a widow," White expressed. "That speaks to someone of tremendous character and deep faith in Lord Jesus."

Dorothy Thielman, the wife of Ruth Graham's former pastor, Rev. Calvin Thielman, will miss her longtime friend.

"I'm glad for her to be with her Lord, but I really feel sad that she's not going to be around because she was such a bright witness for the Lord." Thielman shared. "She was such a lovely, enjoyable, funny person to be around. I just feel sort of bereft."

A Few Words of Wisdom

Anne Graham Lotz shared this wise advice given to her by her mother.

Anne, make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.

A good marriage is made up of two good forgivers.

Every cat knows some things need to be covered.

It takes two to make a fight.

God called you not to make your husband good, but to make him happy.

You can't teach your kids to like spinach if every time they see you eating yours, you gag.

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Michael F. Haverluck

Michael F. Haverluck

CBNNews.com

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