HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Lunch in the cafeteria at Hayworth Christian School usually includes the sound of children talking and laughing. But not on Friday.
Students were quiet and respectful watching Reverend Billy Graham’s private funeral service held in Charlotte.
“Certainly someone who has lived a life and impacted so many millions of people is important for students to see,” said administrator Vicki Beale.
Graham’s sermons were well before the students’ time, but for them, he is household name.
“My grandpa and grandma were both born in 1933. And my grandpa said that Billy Graham did affect his decision to become a Christian a lot,” said student William LeCates.
“We would watch different sermons in class,” said student Laura Leigh Bruton.
Beale was around the same age as her high school students when she developed her own memories of Rev. Graham.
She was a counselor at a crusade in Raleigh. Beale says it was a powerful experience.
“At the end, actually at the rotunda, when they sang just as I am I just started to weep because I remember every single crusade ended that way,” she said.
Student Sarah Nance expressed feeling an impact beyond the several days of tributes honoring Graham’s life.
“I think it's really cool because society now is so secularized and they try to take God out of everything, and now with his funeral, they’re just being so respectful of him and his family and God has taken the center again and it's not just trying to push Him out of everything,” she said.
It’s Missions Month at the school, Beale says it’s the perfect time to teach students about leading by example.
“Billy Graham's life traveled the world and the globe and shared the gospel, and so we believe that through these hallways, walks some missionaries at some point,” she said. “I think it's been good for our country to see.”
Students also watched the service honoring Rev. Graham inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
They wrote about that experience as part of an English assignment.