Inmates at one of the country’s most well-known prisons will have a hand in laying Reverend Billy Graham to rest. At his request, Angola inmates built his casket back in 2006.
Louisiana State Penitentiary is known as the “Alcatraz of the south.” It’s home to the state’s most notorious criminals, but is also home to a renowned prison ministry.
“I feel there is a great outpouring of the holy spirit behind bars at this time,” said Clifford Bowman.
Bowman is in bible college at Angola. He was selected to be part of a special team on a special mission: to build a casket. It’s a regular casket for a not so regular man: evangelist, Billy Graham.
“We of course prayed before we started and that’s something that does not happen every day when they are doing it in the regular work. Where God is working the devil’s gonna’ be there working, so he’s gonna’ try and get his licks in too,” said Bowman.
“This was a great honor. Because this is a great man of God and he wants him an inmate to build his coffin and get the inmate preachers involved and its mind boggling it sends a great message,” said Burl Cain.
Richard Liggett constructed the casket for Graham with a couple of modifications from his usual work and it’s ready. “I respect the man. I’ve listened to him. I know what he preaches. You know, but other than that, I just wanted to do the best job I could,” said Liggett.
Angola first began building their own caskets about 18 years ago. Inmates before then were buried in cardboard boxes, which often fell apart or caved in from the weight of the dirt.
“It’s so symbolic, even though the prisoners have committed horrible crimes… God loves them too,” said Cain.
And so did Reverend Billy Graham.
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