Though he was 99-years-old and in failing health, people around the world were shocked today to learn that the man known as "America's Pastor," Billy Graham, had died at his home in North Carolina. But there are Louisiana ties to the famous evangelist, and their roots are not in our state's halls of power or wealth, but at Louisiana's penitentiary at Angola.

WAFB TV in Baton Rouge is reporting that prisoners made Graham's casket more than ten years ago:

"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."

Some time ago, inmate Clifford Bowman and other prisoners were selected for a special job: To construct the casket for a very famous man.

From WAFB:

"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.'

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.'"

Inmates at Angola began building their own caskets - and because of the quality of their work, eventually for others - about twenty years ago.

To see the WAFB TV video of Angola inmates building the casket for evangelist Billy Graham, JUST CLICK HERE!