Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, will be coming to Charlotte on Monday to pay their respects to the Rev. Billy Graham.
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A spokesperson for the Bush family said the two would not be able to make Billy Graham’s funeral on Friday because they were unable to break a longstanding scheduling commitment.
The Bush family will visit with the Graham family and pay their respects to the evangelical leader at the Graham Family Homeplace.
>> Related: Photos: Billy Graham was counselor to presidents
It was announced Thursday that George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, would not be able to travel to Charlotte for Graham’s funeral.
>> On WSOCTV.com: Photos: Rev. Billy Graham at presidential inaugurations over the years
Graham had a close relationship with the Bush family. George H.W. Bush said that the pastor's presence on the eve of the Persian Gulf War helped him avoid doubt, "even for a second ... (about) the moral clarity of our mission that January night."
Billy Graham meets privately with Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, November 5, 2000 in Jacksonville, Florida. Graham gave his tacit endorsement to Bush's run for the presidency after the two talked about faith and the future of the country. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
Years later his son, George W. Bush, recalled in an interview with Focus on the Family that he'd been drunk the first time he met Graham at the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. The two went for a walk that launched Bush's rejection of alcohol and embrace of Christianity.