Florida Memory/Flickr.com

A life-size statue of the late evangelist Billy Graham is set to replace a statue of a white supremacist in the US Capitol’s Statuary Hall next year, according to Religion News Service.

The new statue will depict Graham as he appeared in the 1960s, preaching and holding a Bible in one hand.

Chris Fagan, who is designing and sculpting the 10-foot-tall statue of Graham, has created sculptures of other religious figures, including St. John Paul II, and Mother Teresa. A North Carolina legislative committee has endorsed the statue model.

The Capitol’s Statuary Hall consists of 100 statues contributed by 50 states, two figures each donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history.

Graham, a native of North Carolina, will stand in place of a statue of Charles Aycock (1859-1912), a former governor of the state and figure of controversy.

In the late 1890s, Aycock was a leading spokesman for the Democratic Party’s white supremacist activities in the state. He was a part of a fear and intimidation campaign that sought to forcefully suppress the black vote and sow racial distrust.

“He was a racist,” North Carolina State Sen. Joel Ford said of Aycock. “I’m quite frankly honored to be able to sponsor a piece of legislation that would honor the Rev. Billy Graham.”

This is not the first time Graham’s name has come up for the Statuary Hall collection. Five years ago, former North Carolina state Sen. Dan Soucek pushed the idea while the evangelist was still living.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

Three Christians were arrested in Moscow, Idaho for participating in an outdoor worship service. Was the arrest warranted? The Latah County commission candidate Gabe Rench, who is also one of the co-hosts of “CrossPolitic” a conservative politics show, was one of three who were arrested by police during a “Psalm sing” event that took place […]

President Donald Trump said he is “praying for” two police officers that were shot in Louisville, Kentucky. The incident occurred as protests were happening in the city over the announcement of the grand jury decision in the Bronna Taylor case. “Praying for the two police officers that were shot tonight in Louisville, Kentucky,” the president […]

While some bizarre QAnon conspiracy theories have gained traction in certain conservative groups, several Evangelical Christian leaders are taking on and denouncing the popular movement. Seth Brown, an evangelical pastor and executive editor of the Biblical Recorder, a Southern Baptist newspaper in Cary, N.C. delivered a stark warning to Christians about the viral conspiracy theory […]

A new survey asked respondents who Jesus would vote for in the 2020 presidential election. Trump came in ahead but only by a small margin. The survey conducted by the Christian activist group, Vote Common Good, found that across Evangelicals and Catholics, 28 percent say Jesus would vote for Donald Trump, and 27 percent say […]