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This week, the world lost evangelist Rev. Billy Graham and on Wednesday morning, and his son, Rev. Franklin Graham, opened up about his death on “TODAY.”

Sitting down for his first interview with co-anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, Franklin Graham opened up about hearing the news of his father’s death before it made headlines on Wednesday. He said that the moment made him “chuckle.”

“My father said years ago, ‘when you hear that Billy Graham is dead, don’t you believe it for a second because I’ll be more alive than ever before,'” Franklin said. “He’s in the presence of God and we rejoice and we are thrilled that his suffering is over and he is in God’s presence.”

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Franklin remembered his father as a “man of God.”

“The Billy Graham that the world saw on television is the same Billy Graham that we saw at home. He wasn’t two people,” Franklin said. “He spent his life telling people about Heaven and how to get to Heaven. He wrote books on Heaven and now he’s in Heaven. And, he would want me to tell everybody that if you put your faith and trust God’s son Jesus Christ that you can be in Heaven, too.”

Franklin revealed that his father experienced a few health “set backs” in the last five years but his “mind was always clear.” He said he last saw his father on Sunday before his death. Franklin told the hosts that his father was “touched by God” and that was why so many people listened when he spoke.

As for how he would want to be remembered, Franklin said his father would have “wanted to be remembered as a preacher.” And, ahead of his death, Franklin asked what he would want on his tombstone and revealed it to the “TODAY” family.

“He thought about it and said, ‘preacher.’ So, that’s what’s going to be on his tombstone,” Franklin said.

Nicole is a content editor with Rare. 
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