LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- The world's best-known evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, died Wednesday.
Jonathan Falwell looking at photo of Rev. Billy Graham and his father, Rev. Jerry Falwell on his office wall. (WDBJ7)
He was 99.
Graham held a special place in Lynchburg and with the Falwell family. "Roy Graham, the grandson, Franklin's son, actually got married here at Thomas Road Baptist Church. Married a girl from our church," said Jonathan Falwell, the pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church.
The friendships and relationships between the two families spans several generations. "It started with my dad and Dr. Graham and then of course continued down through Dr. Graham's children and grandchildren as well," he said.
Falwell says he will remember Graham for being kind, compassionate and always bold to share his faith. "He would want to make sure, 'Hey, don't let the world point to me, always point people to Christ,'" explained Falwell. "In my role as a pastor, certainly I want to be bold like he was preaching the Gospel," said Falwell.
Falwell says Graham's fearless approach of sharing his faith will influence the world for years to come. "While he won't be here anymore on this earth, I know that the message that he preached was one that will continue to be one that will circulate the globe as a result of the work that he did."
Liberty University's president Jerry Falwell also spoke out today on Twitter saying: "The Christian faith has lost its greatest orator of the last century who gave hope to billions that, even tho we are all sinners, there is hope & eternal life thru faith in Jesus Christ. Many of Billy Graham’s family were students @LibertyU, close friends & will be in our prayers"