Billy Graham Statue in U.S. Capitol Set for May 16 Unveiling

The base of the newest statue to be installed at the National Statuary Hall features a familiar verse—John 3:16.

Fittingly, the verse that was foundational to Billy Graham’s ministry for more than half a century will be inscribed on the pedestal of the 7-foot statue of his likeness.

The well-known Scripture, which succinctly communicates the Gospel plan of salvation, is listed beside the same verse that’s also etched on Mr. Graham’s gravestone marker at the Billy Graham Library: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).

The statue created by Charlotte-based artist Chas Fagan depicts Mr. Graham pointing to an open Bible. It will be unveiled at 11 a.m. on May 16 in a private dedication ceremony in the U.S. Capitol with remarks from Franklin Graham and House Speaker Mike Johnson, as well as special music by Grammy-winner and longtime ministry friend, Michael W. Smith.

“This is a great honour and my father would be humbled and grateful,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “At the same time, he would not want the attention on himself but on God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

With only two statues representing each of the 50 states in the union, it is quite a rare opportunity. The evangelist is one of the only private citizens to receive three of the highest honours from Congress—the Congressional Gold Medal (1996), to have lain in honour in the Capitol (2018), and to have a statue placed in Statuary Hall (2024).

In 2013, Mr. Graham was named North Carolina’s “Favourite Son” by a unanimous vote of the state General Assembly. Then-Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 540 in to law in 2015, which decreed that a statue of Graham would be commissioned to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Capitol. “There have been many great North Carolinians, but few have impacted the world more than Billy Graham,” the House Bill said.

“The legacy of Rev. Billy Graham is based on his simple message of forgiveness based on John 3:16. His lifelong commitment to preaching the Gospel, his fight for civil rights, his opposition to communism, and his spiritual guidance provided hope to hundreds of millions,” said Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) who was part of the bipartisan effort. “His likeness should stand in the U.S. Capitol forever.”