Franklin & Billy Graham Meet with Sarah Palin
November 23, 2009 - BGEA and Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham greeted former Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin upon her arrival Nov. 22 in Asheville, NC. She later dined with Franklin and his father, Billy, at Mr. Graham's Montreat home.
Franklin had extended an invitation last winter when he and Palin were delivering food to native Alaskan villages along the lower Yukon River.
Upon arriving at Asheville Regional Airport, the former governor was greeted by Franklin, and both took a few moments to address local media.
Sarah Palin: "It’s an honor for me to get to be here and to be at the Grahams. Franklin’s done great work with Samaritan's Purse up in Alaska. He’s helped many of our villages up there who have had some challenges with infrastructure and some economic and environmental challenges. ... We’ve been so thankful for him and for your organization.
It will be a once-in-a-lifetime honor to meet this man, Billy Graham, who has contributed so much to our world. My aunt and my parents were talking about it on the flight over that he probably — more than any other individual we can think of — can be so positively impacting on issues that really truly matter at the end of the day. Billy Graham has affected those things that personally and eternally affect all of us."
Franklin Graham: "We’re very glad and very grateful that you have come. My father is very excited about meeting the governor. He’s been following her over the last few years very closely, very impressed, of course, like many other people. He extended the invitation when the governor and I last year were in Western Alaska out on the Yukon River, and daddy just said, 'If you have a chance to invite the governor to come see me sometime please extend that invitation.' So, we’re just very excited that you’re able to come."
Governor Palin was accompanied to Mr. Graham's home in Montreat by her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath; her aunt, Katie Johnson; daughter, Piper and son, Trig.
Following dinner, Mr. Graham issued the following statement:
"It was an honor having Governor Palin and her family in our home this evening. I, like many people, have been impressed with her strong commitment to her faith, to family and love of country. I appreciated hearing her speak of her own spiritual journey and her life in Alaska. I shared with her my own memories of preaching in the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage in 1984.
"We had an opportunity to pray together. Life in the spotlight is not easy and I pray that whatever lies ahead for this family that their faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, would remain strong and that God would put a hedge of protection around her and all those she holds dear. Sarah and her family will always be welcome in the Graham home."