The Rev. Franklin Graham has asked for continued prayers for his family and his sister, Anne Graham Lotz, following the death of her husband, Danny Lotz, who the evangelist referred to as a "great man of God."
Lotz passed away on Wednesday after being found unresponsive in the family's swimming pool on Monday afternoon. The 78-year-old former UNC basketball player and Bible teacher had suffered from a severe case of Adult 1 diabetes over the last decade, including losing sight in one eye and hearing in one ear, earning him the nickname "God's Gladiator".
On Thursday afternoon, Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, shared a touching tribute to Lotz.
"I know that my sister Anne and all the family would appreciate your prayers in the loss of her husband, Dr. Danny Lotz," Graham wrote in a Facebook post. "Danny was a great man of God-every inch a Christian gentleman-who influenced countless people for the Gospel over the years. And he was a great brother-in-law! He was 15 years older than me, and I always looked up to and admired him. Danny will be missed greatly, but what a comfort it is to know that we will see him again in heaven one day. The Bible says, 'But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body' (Philippians 3:20-21)."
Danny and Anne Lotz were married for forty-nine years and have three adult children together. On Wednesday, Anne Graham-Lotz also took to Facebook to share a photo of her husband along with the caption, "Danny Lotz was a chief among The King's ...mighty warriors. He gave His Kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land. 1 Chronicles 11:10."
As of Friday morning, the post was "liked" over 32,000 and shared another 11,000 times, with many offering prayers, Scripture verses and words of encouragement.
"Oh, Anne, thank you for this fitting tribute to your husband. Our prayers are with you and with the whole family! May God's comfort and consolation be yours..." wrote popular speaker and author Joni Eareckson Tada.
Added Danielle West-Stellick, "May the Lord comfort and give you strength during this bittersweet trial as you celebrate Danny's homecoming yet face your own grief at his temporary absence from your life and the life of your family and friends."