Evangelist Billy Graham concluded four nights of preaching at a crusade in Kansas City, Sunday, October 10.
The 85-year-old preacher, having recovered from two surgeries, spoke each evening at Arrowhead Stadium to an audience that totaled almost 155,000 over the four days, crusade officials said.
Both Graham and his eldest son, fellow evangelist Franklin Graham, linked their religious messages to contemporary issues.
"There is a great move on in this country to take prayer out of the schools, take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, and take down the Ten Commandments," Billy Graham said from the platform. "As a nation it seems we are turning away from God. But Jesus Christ is coming back, and that is the future of this world."
On Friday, Franklin Graham compared the crusade's efforts to the presidential debate the same evening between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry in St. Louis.
"But in Kansas City it is not a debate, it is a battle for your soul," the younger Graham said.
Billy Graham had surgeries earlier this year following two serious falls. He preached from a specially constructed pulpit where he was allowed to stand and then sit for portions of his sermon, said A. Larry Ross, the evangelist's spokesman.
Conspicuously absent from the crusade was soloist George Beverly Shea, who, for the last six decades of domestic crusades, has sung before the elder Graham spoke. Shea, who suffered a mild heart attack in May, followed doctor's orders and stayed home.
"I had some ticker trouble in May, and the heart people say it takes a good six months for a football player to get over something like that," Shea said in a phone interview with Religion News Service.
At age 95, Shea was advised that he should sit on his back-porch ...