Motorcade brings Rev. Billy Graham back to Charlotte from Asheville

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A ceremonial motorcade brought Rev. Billy Graham's body back to Charlotte from Asheville on Saturday as hundreds lined the streets to pay their respects.

The procession departed from the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove in Asheville around 11:25 a.m. and arrived in Charlotte around 2:30 p.m. The motorcade ended just after 3 p.m. at the Billy Graham Library.

A private prayer service was held at the Training Center at the Cove for Graham's family. That service began at 10:45 a.m.

Before the departure from Asheville, Graham's family members watched as his casket was carried to the hearse by six pallbearers, consisting of Graham's grandson's and husbands of his granddaughters.

Inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary had a hand in laying America's Pastor to rest. At Rev. Graham's request, Angola inmates built his plywood casket in 2006.

The motorcade consists of the hearse carrying Graham's body, eight SUV's consisting of Graham's family and funeral staff, eight North Carolina Highway Patrol motorcycles and one lead vehicle, two media vehicles and two reserve vehicles.

People lined the streets to watch and honor Rev. Graham as the motorcade left Asheville and headed toward I-40. Thre procession

Graham died just before 8 a.m. Wednesday from natural causes at his family home in Montreat, NC, just outside Asheville. He turned 99 on Nov. 7.

Rev. Graham will lie in repose Monday and Tuesday inside the Graham Family Homeplace on the Billy Graham Library grounds. His casket will remain closed. The line will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., BGEA says.

There will be no public parking, but shuttle buses will run those wishing to visit to and from the library.

Rev. Graham's body will be brought to the U.S. Capitol to "lie in honor" in the Rotunda on Wednesday, Feb. 28 until Thursday, March 1, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday.

"Upon the arrival of Rev. Graham's casket, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will take part in a bicameral service," the release stated. "Rev. Billy Graham was an American evangelist and minister, internationally known for his devout faith, inherent humility, and inclusive nature."

Graham's funeral service starts at noon on Friday, March 2. The funeral will be private and open only to invited guests. Burial will follow.

Click here for continuing coverage on Rev. Billy Graham

About 2,300 people are being invited to the funeral, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and all of the living former U.S. presidents.

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