Graham Goes Home to Get Ready for Florida
Billy Graham has completed his outpatient therapy at the Mayo Clinic and returned home to Montreat, North Carolina, to resume his upcoming ministry schedule. The 81-year-old evangelist plans to preach three nights in Jacksonville, Florida, from November 2 to 5, although he admitted when leaving the hospital, "I've discovered I have just as much zeal for preaching the Gospel as ever, but I have had to realize that I am limited physically and must drastically reduce my schedule."Graham was hospitalized in June for several surgical procedures to treat hydrocephalus, a condition in which too much fluid builds up in the brain. After the surgeries he remained in Rochester, Minnesota, as an outpatient while doctors monitored his recovery and his Parkinson's condition. Graham's hospitalization kept him from the Amsterdam 2000 Evangelism Conference, and during the course of his recovery he was not well enough even to deliver an opening address by satellite as was previously anticipated.Graham said in a press release that he could never be the same person as before—either on the inside or outside. "But I do look forward to several more years of ministry as a result of my time here," he added.Graham also expressed his appreciation of the Mayo Clinic medical staff, saying, "I can only hope and pray that we in the church would become as dedicated to our spiritual ministry as the Mayo clinic is to medicine."Graham will preach Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evening in Florida, where he will be joined by crusade regulars George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows. Saturday night will feature a concert for teens performed by Jars of Clay, Kirk Franklin, and DC Talk. An evangelistic message will be shared that night by someone other than Graham.Larry Ross, Graham's spokesman, declined to comment on what a drastically reduced schedule would entail for the elderly evangelist, instead referring to comments Graham made in 1998. "The doctors said to slow down," Graham told the Religion News Service, "they didn't say 'stop.'"
Visit the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.View the schedule and activities for Graham's next crusade at jacksonvillecrusade.org.Recent Christianity Today stories about Graham include:Amsterdam Amen | Amsterdam 2000 ends with a message from Billy Graham, a promise by 10,000 evangelists, and a unifying framework for worldwide evangelism. (Aug. 7, 2000) Billy Graham a No-Show at Amsterdam 2000 | Evangelist, watching from Minnesota, bows out of satellite address, will probably forgo later remarks as well. (July 31, 2000) Billy Graham Too Ill For Amsterdam 2000 | Evangelist will deliver address via satellite. (July 12, 2000) Billy Graham to Miss National Prayer Breakfast | Recovery from elective sinus procedure, health concerns for wife prompt evangelist to cancel annual appearance. (Feb. 3, 2000) Can the Graham Anointing Be Passed? | Many people await the next super-Christian to lead us. (April 5, 1999) Graham Journeys to Cyberspace | (Dec. 7, 1998) Billy Graham Had a Dream | (Jan. 12, 1998)
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