Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Evangelist Billy Graham recently celebrated his 94th birthday.
Reflecting on the previous year for what God has in store for him during his 95th year on the planet, he said, “I never expected I would live this long, outliving my beloved wife Ruth as well as many friends and loved ones,” Mr. Graham said. “I believe God must still have a purpose for keeping me here, and I look forward to seeing what that might be.”
Mr. Graham continues to be called upon to provide perspective on world events and the spiritual state of our nation. He has encouraged all Americans to join him in praying for our country and its leaders during this critical time. He regularly prays for the President, those who are currently in office, and those who are seeking to lead our nation into the future.
Currently, the evangelist is working diligently to finalize the manuscript for his 31st book summarizing the Gospel message of God’s love and forgiveness that he has faithfully preached for more than 60 years. Mr. Graham is excited about the book’s release sometime next year and is considering additional writing projects as there is still much on his mind that he would like to share.
Other ministry endeavors include the forthcoming nationwide evangelism campaign, “My Hope,” to be launched by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in conjunction with Mr. Graham’s 95th birthday in 2013. He fully supports the project and hopes to be able to participate in some way as the date draws closer.
Earlier this year, Mr. Graham authorized Chicken Soup for the Soul to create a special hardcover anthology documenting his life and legacy, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham & Me, to be released February 2013. This compilation will contain 101 personal and impactful stories from influential leaders — including the last six presidents — as well as Mr. Graham’s friends and family documenting his influence on their lives and the impact of his worldwide ministry over more than six decades.
As in years past, Mr. Graham had a quiet birthday celebration at home with his family, and spent time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.