Evangelist Billy Graham will reportedly be buried in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Billy Graham Library, which includes a talking mechanical cow (video above).
A private funeral service will be held on Friday, March 2. Mr. Graham will be buried beside his wife, Ruth, at the foot of the cross-shaped brick walkway in the Prayer Garden, on the northeast side of the Billy Graham Library.
The Washington Post reported in 2006 that Billy’s late wife Ruth Bell Graham wanted to be buried at the Cove, a Christian conference center in Asheville, North Carolina, but son Franklin Graham wanted his parents buried at the library, which houses the animatronic cow:
The building, designed in part by consultants who used to work for the Walt Disney Co., is not a library, she says, but a large barn and silo — a reminder of Billy Graham’s early childhood on a dairy farm near Charlotte. Once it’s completed in the spring, visitors will pass through a 40-foot-high glass entry cut in the shape of a cross and be greeted by a mechanical talking cow.
They will follow a path of straw through rooms full of multimedia exhibits. At the end of the tour, they will be pointed toward a stone walk, also in the shape of a cross, that leads to a garden where the bodies of Billy and Ruth Graham could lie.
The library, talking cow and graves became a reality, notes The Times:
This became an issue after their son Franklin built a Billy Graham “memorial library” in Charlotte featuring a mechanical cow in homage to his father’s childhood on a dairy farm.
Franklin, who is head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, was keen for his parents to be buried there, but his mother called it “a circus” and even composed a notarised statement expressing her wish to be buried at the Cove.
She deferred to her husband shortly before her death when Graham announced that they would both be buried at the library.