The Rev. Billy Graham, who died early Wednesday at the age of 99, "gave a lot of light to a dark world" and in the wake of last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, his message of hope should be remembered, Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said shortly after the news about the evangelist was announced.
"Billy Graham is someone who brought hope to darkness and light to darkness,' she told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
"I remember seeing him when I was 10 years old speak in Tampa, Florida. Raymond James Stadium doesn't get full for football games but was it ever full in four days, with 4,900 people walking to the front of the stadium giving their life to Jesus Christ."
Graham had been the spiritual adviser for presidents for decades, and when a leader called him in, it was a "huge deal," she added, and he "had a huge influence on this country not only on the religious side but political side as well."
The late evangelist would have been 100 years old in November, and he "set the standard" that is being carried on by his son Franklin Graham and by all his family, McEnany also said.
"We knew this moment was coming," she said. "As a Christian, this moment, which is despair and tragedy when anyone dies, he is in heaven. As Vice President [Mike] Pence, I'm pretty sure God said to him, 'well done, good and faithful servant. He impacted 200 million lives on this Earth and that's a legacy that I can only hope to touch on in a small capacity."
McEnany said she wanted to highlight Graham's altar calls, because it was something that is special to evangelicals, "this idea that someone who is going through despair, someone who has sinned or who has sinned or lived a life that is awful can walk up to that altar and through Jesus Christ and the messenger of Billy Graham bringing that message change their life forever. That's something that was unique to him and to our faith and he did it just about better than anyone else."
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