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His eyes are clouded, his voice grainy and his famous wavy hair has turned snow-white.
But age has not robbed Billy Graham of his power – softer now – to preach the Gospel.
As the Charlotte-born evangelist turns 95 Thursday, millions of TV watchers and churchgoers will witness what could be his final public message.
Speaking into a camera at his log cabin-like home in Montreat, Graham calls for a spiritual reawakening in America and says that the cross of Christ “demands … a new lifestyle in all of us.”
“With all my heart, I want to leave you with the truth,” the grandfatherly Graham says about God. “He loves you, willing to forgive you of all your sins.”
Graham’s new but familiar words, recorded over the last year, are featured in a DVD that’s part of a national evangelical effort called “My Hope America, with Billy Graham.” The 28-minute program, which also includes archival footage of the younger Graham, will be shown at 10 p.m. Thursday on Fox News.
In the coming days, nearly 500 local TV stations will also show the program – including Charlotte’s WBTV (channel 3), which will air it Friday at 8 p.m. And more than 25,000 churches around the country are participating in the “My Hope” effort. Pastors of those churches are providing copies of the DVD to members who have been trained to host watch gatherings in their homes.
The Observer also reports that ‘[a]bout 800 people, including celebrities, are expected to attend a private party for him at Asheville’s Omni Grove Park Inn’ tonight. May God continue to bless him, and continue to bless us with this wonderful, deeply inspiring and amazing man. Happy birthday, Reverend.