FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2017
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact info: Jill Coward
World Evangelist Award for Dr. Billy Graham presented to Roy Austin Graham
by Concerned Women for America of North Carolina
Charlotte, NC – On Saturday, May 6, Concerned Women for America of North Carolina hosted the Defender of the Faith Prayer Breakfast at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and presented the World Evangelist Award to Dr. Billy Graham. The award was received by Dr. Graham’s grandson, Roy Austin Graham.
The award was presented by Mary Frances Forrester, Associate Director of CWA of North Carolina and the wife of the late Sen. James S. Forrester. This framed Resolution was proposed by Sen. Forrester and initially conferred by the North Carolina Senate for Dr. Graham in 1997 and will be displayed in the Billy Graham Library.
CWA chose May 6 to hold this event as it marked the fifth anniversary of the passage of the Marriage Amendment to the constitution of North Carolina. The late Sen. Forrester was the primary sponsor of the Marriage Amendment and introduced this amendment for over 10 years before it finally passed out of Committee and was approved for referendum in May 2012. One week before the vote, Dr. Billy Graham endorsed the bill and took out a full-page ad to run in numerous North Carolina newspapers. A legacy of both men was teaching and modeling Biblical truth through public service.
As Mary Frances had worked tirelessly across the state to promote the bill after the Senator’s untimely death, it is fitting that she presented this excellent award to be displayed in the Library to honor Dr. Graham. Sen. Forrester died just six months prior to the referendum, and Mary Frances wanted to complete her husband’s dream. “I just knew I had to finish this for him,” she said. “I thought, ‘If he could do what he did, I can do this. I can do this.’ And I did.”
Most regrettably, this constitutional amendment, which passed by a vote of 61% of the citizens, was overturned by a federal judge in 2014. CWA of North Carolina continues to fight for religious liberty and the ban of same-sex marriage.
In addition to the award for Dr. Graham, the “Outstanding Legislator in Defense of Family Values” Award was presented by Mary Frances Forrester to Sen. Dan Bishop (R-39th District). Sen. Bishop, serving in 2016 as North Carolina State Representative for District 104, was the primary author and sponsor for HB2, The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which became law in March 2016. Sen. Bishop continually defended this common sense law even after it was repealed in March 2017.
In addition to acceptance remarks from the award recipients, other keynote speakers included Mario Diaz, Esq. Legal Counsel for CWA National; Dr. Tom Phillips, Executive Director, Billy Graham Library; and Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director for NC Values Coalition.
Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with grassroots members all across the country and with over 8,500 supporters in North Carolina.