According to the Charlotte Observer, all presidents have made sure to express great admiration for Billy Graham, but only one has made it to the funeral.
Of course, this certainly doesn't mean that previous presidents do not have a profound respect for Billy Graham. To the contrary, all previous presidents — including current President Donald Trump — have expressed their admiration for America's great evangelist.
Former President Jimmy Carter, a notable evangelical Christian, claims that he "regrets" that he cannot attend the funeral. No reason, however, was given for why Carter will not be able to come. It can be assumed, however, that Carter doesn't believe that his wife Roslynn Carter, 90, is in good enough condition to attend.
Indeed, Carter's wife underwent surgery earlier this month in order to remove scar tissue from a portion of her small intestine. Jimmy Carter, 93, has told the media that he was "afraid" during his wife's operation.
“Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide,” Carter said after Graham's death, according to the Charlotte Observer. “Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve.
“He had an enormous influence on my own spiritual life, and I was pleased to count Reverend Graham among my advisors and friends.”
Two former presidents have visited Franklin Graham's casket this week. Clinton arrived in Charlotte on Tuesday where Graham's body is currently located at his boyhood home.
Bill Clinton also spoke with Franklin Graham for several minutes. It is unclear at this time why Clinton won't be attending the funeral.
According to ABC News, Bill Clinton is the second former president to visit Charlotte to pay his respects to America's great evangelist. Yesterday, George W. Bush visited Graham's library along with 6,000 other mourners.
According to Bush, it was an honor to pay his respects to the Graham family. But perhaps more importantly, it meant a lot to pay tribute to a person who had not only an influence on Bush himself but on the lives of millions of people.
Citizen Time writes that Bush and his wife are unable to travel to Charlotte at this time.
Evangelist Billy Graham, a confidant to US presidents and a guiding light to millions of American evangelicals, died on Wednesday morning. Graham was a popular American and international preacher and helped millions to convert to Christianity.
Trump first paid his respects to the evangelical leader over Twitter.
"The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christian and all religions. A very special man!"
You can watch Billy Graham's funeral live at the video here.
In recent news, Franklin Graham is speaking out after George W. Bush visited his father's body.