CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte pastor is reflecting on her special connection to the teachings of Billy Graham.
"I had never seen anybody so excited to spread the word about Jesus Christ," Pastor Stacy King-Chaney says.
King-Chaney sent a text message to friends about the evangelist's passing, Wednesday morning.
"The mission and the message are as strong as ever," she reads. "Thank God for the life and legacy of Billy Graham."
The pastor says it is a life and legacy that has deeply impacted her own, starting as a child in the 60's.
"We would sit down and watch Billy Graham," she says.
"Never say it's a white man's religion, or a black man's religion," Billy Graham once said.
King-Chaney says such messages during that moment in history would influence her life, not knowing she would soon see the man she watched so many years on a screen in person.
Her own evangelical journey started in Philadelphia to serve as a counselor at Graham's crusade in 1992. King-Chaney had just become a pastor herself.
"Being part of that training under the Billy Graham ministry had a whole lot to do with fueling that fire," she recalls.
The fire she says is to serve others overseas. It brought her most recently to Charlotte working with Operation Christmas Child – connected in another way with Graham's ministry and leading her to serve now by his example.
"I will live it, I will teach it, I will preach it, I will share it because he showed us, that we can," she says.
In addition to working for Samaritan's Purse, King-Chaney is about to help open a new church this spring in Gastonia called "One Church."