Rev. Graham gaining strength in hopes of returning to pulpit

There has been a lot of buzz about the possibility of Evangelist Billy Graham returning for a final sermon.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. There has been a lot of buzz about the possibility of Evangelist Billy Graham returning for a final sermon.

We talked to Billy Graham's youngest daughter Ruth Graham about the comment she recently made about her father wanting to deliver one more sermon in Charlotte.

She says her dad is in much better health and he has a message he wants to give.

Ruth Graham says her 91-year-old father is doing better now than he has in years. She says he's working on the speech now and he's working with a physical therapist to gain strength to give the speech in person.

It would be Billy Graham's first public sermon since 2005. His last Charlotte crusade was back in 1996.

Ruth Graham said she's very hopeful her father can step up to the pulpit one more time.

"I think it would be wonderful for him because he's been so isolated for the last couple of years," Ruth Graham said. "And I think it would be great for him to realize how many people want to hear him, and how many people love him the world over."

Ruth Graham also said the idea of the final sermon in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium is purely her idea, not her father's. For now, nothing has been finalized.

Public appearances have been rare for Billy Graham. He attended his own 90th birthday party, at a West Virginia resort, in 2008. Last year, he was in Asheville to help celebrate the 100th birthday of George Beverly Shea, the soloist at Graham crusades.

His last public appearance was in Charlotte in April. He returned to the North Carolina library that bears his name to celebrate its reopening after it was closed for months for upgrades and additions.

The library, which has attracted about 288,000 visitors, traces Graham's journey from son of a dairy farmer in Charlotte to a preacher to presidents and millions around the world.


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