On March 2, 2018, Shan Weixiang, vice-president of the China Christian Council, attended the funeral service for Billy Graham, according to the CCC&TSPM. Two high Chinese officials, including Xiao Hong, director of foreign affairs department of SARA, were also there.
More than 2,000 people from over 50 countries participated in the service, including US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
The service was held in a pavilion placed before the Billy Graham Library in commemoration of the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade first conducted by the evangelist.
Rev. Shan conveyed missing of the preacher and condolences to his family from the CCC&TSPM leaders. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) expressed gratitude for the attendance of the representatives of the Chinese church.
Written on the late evangelist and preacher's gravestone was a simple message with John 14:6.
Born on November 7, 1918, Graham preached Christ's gospel to almost 215 million people who attended his crusades, simulcasts, and rallies in 185 countries around the world. He also preached through books, the Internet and even in television.
His deceased wife Ruth was the daughter of a missionary to China. She was born in China and returned to the US when she was 17. For this reason, the pastor had special ties to China and was called "China's Son-in-law".
Three decades ago, the Grahams were received by Prime Minister Li Peng and visited churches in Beijing, Nanjing, Huaiyin, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
Since then, BGEA built a formal relationship with the Chinese church. Both sides often exchange visits. The Bible Ministry Exhibitions of the Protestant Church in China hosted in the US in 2006 and 2011 were also supported by the evangelistic association.
Rev. Graham passed away at the age of 99 in his home in Montreat, North Carolina, on Feb. 21, 2018.
- Translated by Karen Luo