Evangelist Billy Graham remembered on 100th birthday

ReutersBilly Graham speaks during his New York Crusade at Flushing Meadows Park in New York in 2005.

The late Billy Graham was being remembered today by his family on what would have been his 100th birthday.

The evangelist was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 7 November 1918 and spent decades preaching the Gospel around the world.

During his lifetime, he would become known as the 'pastor to the presidents' because of his close friendships with many US presidents, starting with Harry Truman who served from 1945 to 1953.

Graham passed away just shy of his 100th birthday on 21 February 2018.

Leading the tributes on his 100th birthday today was his son Franklin Graham, who heads up the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and its sister organisation Samaritan's Purse.

'One hundred years ago, @BillyGraham was born—Nov. 7, 1918. Today we celebrate his full life as a servant of Jesus Christ and his first birthday celebration in heaven,' Franklin wrote on Twitter.

Granddaughter Cissie Graham Lynch‏ paid tribute to Graham as a man of humility.

'A word that I use often to describe my grandfather, Billy Graham, is humble,' she said.

'He was simply a servant who was obedient to God's calling on his life and he chose to serve the Lord humbly in all that he did.'

A special birthday cake featuring Graham's portrait was made for the occasion by Jack Phillips, of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who successfully fought off a legal challenge after he refused to bake a gay wedding cake. 

Coinciding with Graham's 100th birthday was the release of a new biographical film, 'Billy Graham: An Extraordinary Journey', charting his life from farm boy to global evangelist.

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