Rev. Billy Graham’s body laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda for a daylong memorial ahead of his funeral in North Carolina on Friday.

WASHINGTON — President Trump hailed the Rev. Billy Graham as “an ambassador for Christ” who helped lift up the American spirit, speaking during a memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda to honor the pastor following his death at 99 last week.

Politicians and other well-wishers began gathering at the United States Capitol Wednesday morning to pay tribute to Mr. . Graham, whose body arrived for a daylong memorial ahead of his funeral in North Carolina on Friday.

President Trump laid a wreath at the coffin of Mr. Graham, whose global ministry included close relationships with presidents since Harry Truman. His legacy includes an outsize influence on the life of America by encouraging millions of evangelical Christians to be engaged in social and political activism.

“Today in the center of this great chamber lies legendary Billy Graham,” Mr. Trump said in brief remarks, “an ambassador for Christ who reminded the world of the power of prayer and the gift of God’s grace.”

Mr. Trump added: ” Today we say a prayer for our country, that all across this land, the Lord will raise up men and women like Billy Graham to spread a message of love and hope.”

Cabinet officials, senators, House members and family members also gathered Wednesday morning to pay tribute. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, called…