The Senate Leader, on Wednesday, named four members to the newly formed Statuary Hall Selection Committee, which is tasked with working to place a statue of the late Rev. Billy Graham at the U.S. Capitol.
In 2015 the legislature passed legislation creating the committee charged with replacing the current statue of former Gov. Charles B. Aycock, a known white supremacist, with Graham’s likeness.
“Billy Graham’s faith and ministry inspired not just countless North Carolinians, but millions around the globe, and I can think of no better representative for our state in Statuary Hall,” Berger said. “Each of these members has a deep, personal appreciation of Rev. Graham’s contributions to our state, and I thank them for their willingness to help realize this tribute to one of North Carolina’s favorite sons.”
The committee is charged with identifying funding sources, and identifying sculptors and designers for the statue as well as logistics for display of the statue in Washington.
Graham’s statue will join former state governor and U.S. Senator Vance Zebulon, who died in 1894, as one of North Carolina’s two statues at Statutory Hall.
Though the legislation to replace Aycock’s statue with a likeness of Graham was approved in 2015, under Statutory Hall rules the likeness must be of a deceased person, requiring that Graham die before the statue can be erected.
Graham, who passed in February at the age of 99 in his home in Montreat, was born in Charlotte in 1918.
During his life Graham was awarded countless times with many honors including, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) named the Senate’s four picks for the seven member committee, one of which is to be from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Wednesday.
The House will name three members and a member from both the Senate and House side will serve as co-chairs.
The Senate members named by Berger include:
·Dr. David Bruce, Rev. Graham’s longtime executive assistant at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, president of Graham’s Blue Ridge Broadcasting ministry and chair of the Montreat College Board of Trustees.
·Clarence Henderson, a retired entrepreneur, civil rights leader and past chair of the NC Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission.
·Rep. Robert Pittenger, (R-NC) for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, who first met Rev. Graham in 1971.
·Dan Soucek, a former three-term state senator who sponsored legislation recommending Graham’s statue be placed in the Capitol.