Residents mourn loss of Rev. Billy Graham at Montreat home


ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — People left flowers outside of renowned Reverend Billy Graham’s Montreat home, and inside a memorial was set up for the man who touched so many lives. 

The reverend Billy Graham’s message resonated with everyday people and celebrities. 

“God bless the family and God bless our nations because he was a great guy,” said Artemis Pyle. “When I was walking out to get help for my friends during the Lynrd Skynrd plane crash, I felt like I had someone on my shoulder so I looked at Billy as a living angel.”

Pyle was the drummer for Lynrd Skynrd he went to one of Billy Graham’s crusades when he was just twelve years old. 

“Today when I heard I wept, I mean tears came up because of who he is,” Pyle said. 

Pyle says the message graham shared at that crusade helped him recover after a plane crash in 1977 that killed several band members, including the band’s lead singer. 

“I guess he teaches all of us about how to live and how to die,” said Pyle.

Graham’s death left many in his home of Montreat, and his training center, the Cove in nearby Asheville heartbroken. 

“I cried, it’s just tough it’s somebody we have here in Asheville we’ve always known he was here this great man,” said an Asheville resident.

A man who would surprise the workers here at the Cove by popping in and showing his appreciation for them. 

“And you’d see somebody in the backseat and it would be Billy Graham, guess who just shook my hand, it would be Billy Graham, great, I’ll never wash my hand again,” one Montreat employee said.

Laughing, through the tears. 

“We’re sad he’s left us but will see him again someday, he’s where he wants to be.” 

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