Hundreds visit Billy Graham Library after news of Rev. Graham passing

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - As the news spread across the world that Reverend Billy Graham passed away at the age of 99, hundreds of people came to the Billy Graham Library to pay their respects.

"I have followed Billy Graham since I was a little girl. In the 70's and 80's we watched him on T.V. He was an icon. He taught people to live biblically not politically, not hate but just to love God," said Patricia Laraway.

Visitors get to see Graham's childhood home and then are walked through his life from his birth up until his death.

"This morning I watched him on the T.V. and I was just in tears because it is a great loss. But up there? It is all rejoicing," said Tim Laraway.

The Reverend Billy Graham reached an estimated 215 million people in more than 400 crusades.

"Sadness because such a great man is gone. Rejoicing because he is with his beloved King and his wife," said Jo Dockins.

"His whole life was dedicated to us. All of us," Dockins added.

For those that live in Charlotte, they know the reverend is synonymous with the city.

"Anyone flying in or out of here. They are going to get on the Billy Graham Parkway. His presence is everywhere," said Dockins.

Reverend Graham will be buried on the library grounds with his wife, Ruth.

"His heart, his love, he modeled his ministry after Jesus Christ. That is what it was and why he was so effective," said Bishop Anthony Ray.  "It is a personal thing that you feel that loss, but at the same time he fought a good fight, he ran a good race and what a crown he has up in heaven."

Many knew the reverend was close to death, but the news is not any easier to take.

"You knew he was going to pass but at the same time you thought he was going to live forever in some ways," said Carol Wyatt.  "Not one man could do all that he has done. All the lives he has touched all over the world and I had almost forgotten that it was not just in America, it was worldwide."

"I grew up watching the crusades and was a part of one 9 years ago. He always said when he was called he knew it would be his time. So, it was still peaceful in there," said Ruth Narvaez.

Funeral services will be held on the library grounds but details on when are still unknown.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.