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Franklin Graham Shares Photo of Billy Graham With Donald, Melanie Trump to Honor 98th Birthday

( [email protected] ) Oct 31, 2016 12:18 PM EDT
In honor of Billy Graham's 98th birthday, Franklin Graham shared a throwback photo of his famous father alongside some "special friends" - including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his wife, Melania.
Billy Graham pictured on his 95th birthday Facebook/ Franklin Graham

In honor of Billy Graham's 98th birthday, Franklin Graham shared a throwback photo of his famous father alongside some "special friends" - including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his wife, Melania.

The leader of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse took to Facebook to share the snapshot, which was taken at Graham's 95th birthday celebration in North Carolina three years ago. In addition to the Trumps, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, appear in the photo.

"One week from tomorrow, on November 7, my father Billy Graham will celebrate his 98th birthday-that's hard to believe!" he wrote. "It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating his 95th. He enjoyed so much being surrounded by friends and family as we gave God the glory for his life and ministry. Here's a snapshot with a few special friends who gathered that night three years ago. You might recognize some of the faces."

Nearly 1,000 guests reportedly attended the 2013 event, including Rick Warren, Greta Van Susteren, Kathie Lee Gifford, Glenn Beck, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and musicians Ricky Skaggs and Michael W. Smith.

Despite Trump's appearance in the photo and reports that, back in 2012, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association received a $100,000 donation from the Trump Foundation, neither Graham has endorsed either candidate. Franklin has repeatedly said he has "no faith" in either the Democratic or Republican party but nonetheless has urged evangelical voters to vote with Supreme Court appointments in mind.

During a 2015 interview, Franklin reflected on his father's long life and discussed  why he thinks God is continuing to keep the "Evangelist to the World" and "Pastor to Presidents" on this earth.

 

"Especially now that we see Christians under attack in this country-and this is something, we're going to see more and more of this-my father is still present," Franklin said. "Even though he's not able to speak as much  as he used to, he's still present, and I think that is a great encouragement to many people to know that Billy Graham is still with us."

Earlier this year, Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham-Lotz, explained that her father is confined mostly to his bed and wheelchair but still has a clear mind. She added, however, that his mind "doesn't move as quick as it used to."

Although Lotz said it takes a while for her father to process things he is told, he is still "affectionate and loving."

"I am not sure he is aware so much of the world's situation but his appetite is good, his vital signs are good and I know God is holding him for some reason," Lotz said.

Lotz also suggested that the fact that her father is still alive might have something to do with the return of Christ.

"I thought it had to do with the Return of Jesus and I won't go there right now, but I wonder also if [my father] is here ... to be an encouragement to you - that there is a man that is still faithful, still has a heart for the Gospel, heart for God, heart for the lost and still prays," she continued. "In fact, he prays in his preaching voice. He is still kicking. Maybe that will encourage you to be faithful through persevering in the ministry to which God has called you."

Tags : Franklin Graham, Billy Graham, Billy Graham birthday, Melania Trump, Donald Trump, Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association