Billy Graham was devout customer of small, unassuming NC BBQ eatery

For nearly seven years Billy Graham, the evangelical preacher who spread the word of Lord to millions across the world, was a sincere and faithful customer of a little barbecue restaurant in his home condition of North Carolina.

“ My father cherished barbecue and one of his most favorite was Bridges in Shelby. Through the years he had many lunches and meals there as he traveled to and from Charlotte now, ” Franklin Graham, the popular pastor’ s son, told Sibel News in a statement.

Almost every week, the particular senior Graham, who died a week ago, visited Red Bridges Barbecue Hotel and ordered the same dish: the particular barbecue pork plate platter along with baked beans, hush puppies, plus coleslaw.  

Billy Graham and his wife Ruth having lunch with Representative Tulsi Whitner (D-SC) in the late fifties. Shelby, NC   (Fox News)

“He began coming in here when he started their evangelism in Charlotte, ” Reddish Bridges Barbecue Lodge owner Debbie Webb told Fox News. The girl says she was just a child when she first met the particular Graham family.

For years  “ America’ s Pastor”   visited the particular restaurant with his wife Ruth plus their young children during the nearly 2 hour commute between Montreat and  Charlotte. For many of those trips, Graham was traveling to Charlotte airport on  crusades  in the U. S. plus across the world.

The restaurant does not have a special homage area for Graham, but offers photos of him scattered all through.

Red Link Barbeque Lodge in Shelby, In. C, was packed minutes right after opening Sunday morning.   (Fox News)

“Mommy and daddy just really grew to become really good friends with him and am grew up with him just viewing his evangelism on TV and of course your pet coming in here, ” Webb stated.

Anytime he stopped by, Webb mentioned she would go sit and talk to him, especially after her dad passed away when she was eleven years old.

Cafe owner Debbie Webb says the girl parents opened the the bar-b-q joint in the 1940s.   (Fox News)

“We talked a lot of memories from my father, ” she said, “ plus, of course , I didn’ t are able to talk a lot cause everybody else wanted to speak, too. ”

Doug Bridges, a supervisor at the restaurant, said he had been honored to meet and serve Graham over the years.

The particular tables throughout the restaurant are embellished with news articles, scan requirements and stickers like this one.   (Fox News)

“To me, ” he said, “ Billy Graham is like Apostle John, he had meant so much to many people. ”

Bridges says the last time he or she saw the North Carolina native is at December of 1999, and he requested his autograph.

“The last time he previously been in the Charlotte Observer….. I actually asked him to sign the particular paper, ” Bridges said. “His Parkinson’ s was getting even worse and he was apologizing for taking such a long time to sign it. I was seeking to explain to him what an recognize it was to meet him and he informed me: ‘ Sir, I’ m simply an old country preacher. ’ inch

Since Graham’ s health began declining, his family would pick up their favorite dish to go.

Billy Graham and his spouse Ruth with restaurant owner “Red Bridges” in the late 50s.   (Fox News)

“ He taught me in which was the same, didn’ t matter you had, didn’ t matter what a person did, you can always be forgiven simply by that man up above. That’ t what he left with me, inch Webb said.  

When employees discovered the highly admired preacher acquired passed away just shy of their 100 birthday, their reactions had been mixed.  

“Sad for us on earth, yet a joyous reunion in paradise, ” Webb said. “ He’ s wanted to be with his spouse for so long. So , I wasn’ t really that sad meant for him. But I’ m depressing for our loss. ” 

Webb and other workers at the barbecue restaurant said Graham will be missed, but they will honour his legacy by loving everybody, as Jesus had taught over 2, 000 years ago.

Terace Garnier is a Fox News media reporter based in Columbia, South Carolina. Adhere to her on twitter: @TeraceGarnier