ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Some A-listers, along with hundreds of others, gathered to wish Billy Graham a happy 95th birthday Thursday night.
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Guests like Governor Pat McCrory and Sarah Palin paid their respects to the Charlotte native and world-renowned reverend.
“It’s just an honor that not only was he born in Charlotte, but he continued to make North Carolina home,” McCrory said ahead of the event.
Several speakers lined up to sing Graham’s praises, including Palin, who said she doesn’t know if she’d be standing without him.
“[He has a] personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He’s been so bold about it, so exuberant with this message,” she said to NBC Charlotte’s Dave Wagner. When asked about visiting Graham’s house, she says, “It was amazing, and my parents came with me on that visit. I asked Mom the other day, ‘What was it like for you to be able to be there?’ The nicest thing about it? He treated us like we were just next door neighbors coming in to have a cup of coffee with him. There was so much to say and I didn't want it to end, and I feel the same way.”
Guests dined on a chicken dinner, except for the man of the hour. He requested country ham and biscuits. Red roses surrounded all the guests, which complimented the red velvet cupcakes served with a chocolate medallion to honor Graham.
Everyone in attendance also celebrated Graham’s new video series, “My Hope.”