Cliff Barrows, who served as the head of music choir at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for about six decades, died on November 15 at the age of 93.

He had suffered a brief illness, and was in hospice care in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Barrows had also served as the Vice Chairman to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Board of Directors. He was known as a man of prayer and expressed hopes that the Gospel would reach millions of people so that they would come to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

"He was known as the platform emcee," Evangelist Leighton Ford said. "He led the meetings. He also planned the meetings, produced television programs and radio programs. He was a fine preacher himself."

Barrows led the Graham crusade choirs, and directed the gospel music before and after the preaching events.

"Cliff had the ability to lead people in song, not as entertainment, but really to open people's hearts up to the message that Billy Graham would give," Ford continued.

In 1945, he was attending one of the Youth for Christ rallies with his wife Wilma Newell, where worship leaders were not able to make it to the event. Barrows then offered to fill in as song leader. This is how a lifelong association and friendship between Graham and Barrows began.

Graham released an official statement on the death of his long-time friend and BGEA choir director:

"There wouldn't be a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in the way it is today without him. He was used of the Lord more than anyone else to keep us together with his strength, energy, devotion and love for the Lord," Graham said. "Cliff set an example and was a role model of what a Christian ought to be. His contribution to my ministry cannot be measured in human terms."

"Sometimes he could just step up and preach a lot better sermon than me because God gave him the gift -- not only of organization and music, but also of preaching and teaching," he added. "We have a little conference center near my home where I would go to hear him when he was there and he certainly was a powerful speaker."

He had a degree in sacred music at Bob Jones University, and was an assistant pastor at Temple Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.

A public funeral for Barrows will be held at 10:30 am on November 22 at Calvary Church in Charlotte.