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updated: 2/28/2018 2:31 PM

Wheaton College to hold Friday service for Billy Graham

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  • Rev. Billy Graham, who graduated from Wheaton College in 1943, returned to his alma mater on May 11, 1994.

      Rev. Billy Graham, who graduated from Wheaton College in 1943, returned to his alma mater on May 11, 1994.
    Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer/May 1994

  • Pallbearers carry the casket with the body of Billy Graham past family members to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Pallbearers carry the casket with the body of Billy Graham past family members to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    AP Photo/Nell Redmond

  • Evangelist Billy Graham addressed more than 100,000 Berliners at the Olympic Stadium in Germany on June 27, 1954.

    Evangelist Billy Graham addressed more than 100,000 Berliners at the Olympic Stadium in Germany on June 27, 1954.
    Associated Press

 
 

Wheaton College will hold a memorial service Friday morning for the Rev. Billy Graham to coincide with the funeral for the late evangelist in his home state of North Carolina.

The gathering at the Edman Memorial Chapel will pay tribute to the school's most famous alumnus and watch a livestream of his funeral from Charlotte, North Carolina. The college's concert choir will perform during the public service that begins at 11 a.m.

Graham had a preaching ministry as a Wheaton student long before he took his crusades to millions around the world and became a counselor to U.S. presidents. Graham died at his home Feb. 21. The 99-year-old had suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments.

Though Graham had been removed from the public eye for years, his presence at the college is inescapable. A 1943 graduate, Graham met his wife, Ruth, at the school and preached on Sundays in downtown Wheaton.

His last trip to the college was in 1994 for the rededication of his namesake center.

"Billy Graham often came back to campus," college President Philip Ryken said last week after Graham's death. "He served for decades as a member of our board of trustees and loved to encourage the ongoing work of Wheaton College."

The Billy Graham Center Museum also has extended its hours for a special photo exhibit of the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history. The collection honoring Graham's ministry will be on display through March 10.

Tickets to Friday's service are not required. Doors to the chapel, at the corner of Washington and Franklin streets in Wheaton, will open at 10:30 a.m.

The college also will livestream the service online at Wheaton.edu/streaming.

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