Billy Graham's musical friend turns 100
Friends, family and loved ones of the popular singer helped him celebrate his birthday at a private event, hosted at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C.
Shea’s longtime friends Graham, music director Cliff Barrows and gospel music legends Bill and Gloria Gaither attended the event.
Testimonies during the program accented the humility and grace of the man often called “America’s Beloved Gospel Singer,” as well as his vital contribution to the work of evangelism for the Billy Graham Crusade team for more than 60 years.
“I’m deeply grateful to him,” said Mr. Graham during remarks at the event, publicized by Christian Newswire. “I count him as one of my
The centenarian greeted well-wishers with a few words, and took the opportunity to recite one of his favorite hymns, “The Shadow of a Cross,” in his familiar bass-baritone voice.
In a gesture perfect for a musician, Shea was presented with a Rodgers organ, eventually to be used at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Angola’s warden, Burl Cain, was in attendance at the celebration. Following a Franklin Graham Prison Festival at Angola in 2006, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association donated funds to build a chapel there that was dedicated in April 2008.
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