Guest / Limited Access /

Billy Graham may be celebrating his 90th birthday today, but he's not done learning yet. The world-famous evangelist will use the Internet for the first time this week when he sends an e-mail reply to a supporter.

"We're helping him write it, but he's going to push the button," said Graham's son Franklin, who has received more than 100,000 letters through the Internet to give to his father for his birthday. "He was asking me the other day, 'How does it work?' And I said, 'I don't know, but I know it does.'"

Graham preached in person in more than 185 countries to over 215 million people during his more than 70 years of ministry. He prayed with every American President from Harry Truman to George W. Bush.

Graham now uses a walker, his hearing is failing, and macular degeneration is deteriorating his eyesight. But his children say his mind is still very sharp, and as he reaches his 90th birthday, he has one birthday wish: to turn 91. In age, Graham is still behind gospel singer George Beverly Shea, who regularly sang at Billy Graham crusades.

"Bev Shea turns 100 in February, so I think Daddy's trying to catch up to him," Franklin Graham told Christianity Today. "I try to tell him from time to time, 'Dad, let's go for a walk,' and he will look at me a little bit disgusted and say, 'You wait until you turn 90.'"

The last time Graham preached publicly was in 2006, when he accompanied Franklin to a festival in Baltimore. Graham is now working on a book about aging, but has been set back by his health. He spent a night in the hospital last month after falling when trying to pet his dog, Sam.

"He has said several times, 'Franklin, I wish I had the strength to do one more crusade,'" his son said. Family and old friends such as singer Bill ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only Reply All
Responses to our December issue via letters, tweets, and Facebook posts.
RecommendedAmericans Warm Up to Every Religious Group Except Evangelicals
Americans Warm Up to Every Religious Group Except Evangelicals
Pew finds fewer people personally know an evangelical anymore.
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
Christianity Today
Billy Graham Turns 90
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.