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US Capitol to install statue of Rev. Billy Graham

Rev. Billy Graham, a Charlotte native, was perhaps the world's most famous evangelist and known as the "Pastor to the Presidents."

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina legislative committee has approved a model of a statue honoring the late Rev. Billy Graham to replace one of a former governor and white supremacist who currently represents the state in the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall.

Last week, the Legislature’s Statuary Hall Selection Committee approved the model of the Southern Baptist minister created by Charlotte-based sculptor Chas Fagan, according to WRAL.

Graham, a Charlotte native who was a counselor to presidents, has been described as the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history. He died in 2018 at the age of 99.

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Each state is allowed two statues to represent it in the hall, and the statue of Graham would replace that of Charles Aycock, a governor who also led white supremacist campaigns at the turn of the 20th century. Aycock's statue has represented North Carolina in the hall for nearly 90 years.

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Fagan previously created  statues of religious figures, including St. John Paul II for Washington’s Saint John Paul II National Shrine, as well as Mother Teresa for the Washington National Cathedral.

A congressional committee will hold a final vote on the model.