Billy Graham's personal pastor, leader of Upstate church, reacts to passing

Billy Graham

The Rev. Billy Graham was America's pastor.

"It was like one of those "ah wow" - this is the man, this is the guy that wore the white suit when I was a kid", Drace said.

By this time he had preached in person to more than 200 million people worldwide.

Graham's ties to the White House were mutually beneficial as they enhanced his reputation as a preacher, while boosting the presidents' standing with religiously inclined voters.

Public figures responded to the news of Graham's death on Twitter. He was a counselor to presidents Democratic and Republican and, with his massive arena appearances, was a precursor of the Protestant televangelism that helped reshape the American religious and political landscapes.

"If there is an indigenous American religion and I think there is, quite distinct from European Protestantism, then Graham remains its prime emblem", said powerful USA cultural critic, Harold Bloom.

Nearly everyone, it seems, wants to personally thank Billy Graham.

Priscilla "Sas" Argentine, 64, of McMurray, Washington County, said Graham's 1968 crusade in Pittsburgh had a similar effect on her.

While he tended to steer clear of endorsing candidates, he ended up becoming close friends with a number of presidents, in particular Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

"His example of servant-leadership will continue to inspire Christians around the world to be salt and light", he concluded. "He shared the love of Jesus Christ to millions around the world". Graham later moved to Florida and was ordained there in 1939.

Graham was known for his sense of humor and for maintaining a nonpartisan Christian view, which earned him some criticism. It turned out to be a painful relationship for Graham, who said Nixon and his circle misled him on the Watergate scandal. There are countless numbers who began their journey of faith because of Dr Graham. Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, were fixtures on many of Graham's crusades.

Without further ado, here are the photos of Graham after or during his meeting with each president, from Harry Truman to Donald Trump.

He also wrote more than two dozen books, including his 1997 memoir,"Just as I Am", which was a New York Times bestseller. I will just have changed my address.

Cook said Graham told him that he had learned memorization techniques from National Basketball Association player Jerry Lucas.

"I'm grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to", he said.