Arkansas Pastors Remember Billy Graham

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Pastors around Northwest Arkansas said they were moved to emotions Wednesday morning when they learned of the death of evangelist Billy Graham.

“He was gracious, extremely humble, very encouraging," said Cross Church Senior Pastor Dr. Ronnie Floyd.

Floyd met Graham during one of his famous crusades in Little Rock.

He said he received the opportunity to pray and simply talk with Graham.

Floyd, like many others remember watching the man through the years as he shared the word of God.

“There is no one more well known than him and he became America’s pastor," Floyd said. "He really became the pastor to the globe.”

Floyd said he was just one of the millions of people around the world who were influenced by Graham.

For the senior pastor, it was how Graham led his life that stuck with him.

“He was a man that learned to walk in the center and he stayed true to the gospel because he knew every time he got in a ditch it would be problematic," Floyd said.

Don Hutchings, the pastor of Evangel Temple in the River Valley said there was something about Graham that drew people to him and his message.

“Way back in the 60s our family would sit down in the living room and watch him," Hutchings said. "I was just a little child and I would dream about getting to do that.”

For Hutchings, the thing that stuck out about Graham was his response to the question what do you want people to remember about you?

“He said, I don’t really want people to remember me," Hutchings said. "I want them to remember Christ. What a statement."

Both Floyd and Hutchings recalled the call to Christ that Graham did during his sermons.

Floyd said no matter how many people were in the crowd, Graham always called people to come down and give their life to God.

Something that Hutchings said he has even adopted in during his sermons.

To honor what Graham did during his 99 years, Hutchings said they were going to dedicate their Wednesday night service to him and take a look at some of his work.

A few Arkansas leaders also commented on the death of Graham.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson called him a giant among leaders and that the country was enriched by his ministry.

Representative Steve Womack tweeted that Graham's dedication to the Word will never be forgotten.