Billy Graham Spends a Quiet Birthday with Family

Nov 08, 2002 03:00 AM EST

MINNEAPOLIS, -- World renown Rev. Billy Graham celebrated his 84th birthday on Thursday, November 7. Having just completed the ceremony for the groundbreaking "Billy Graham Center for World Evangelism," Mr. Graham spent his birthday quietly at home with his wife Ruth.

This year, Mr. Graham conducted large scale missions in two cities: Dallas, and Cincinnati. The four day mission revival held at the Texas Stadium in Irving from Oct. 17-20 averaged 60,000 participants each night. Even President Bush participated in the mission event.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29, Mr. Graham addressed an invitation-only crowd of more than 500 gathered in Charlotte, N.C., for the ceremony for the new Billy Graham Evangelistic Association world headquarters, to be called the Billy Graham Center for World Evangelism. The move from current headquarters in Minneapolis -- which has been home to the ministry since 1950 -- is to be completed by the end of 2004.

"This is not only the biggest project we have ever undertaken in terms of financial commitment, but in my view it also is one of the most important, because it decisively sets the stage for the future growth of our ministry around the world," Mr. Graham said in prepared remarks at the ceremony.

He commented upon the large numbers of spiritual commitments among the young people, calling it an indicator of great spiritual hunger I spite of a materialistic and secular culture. This center for World Evangelism will be an important step in developing the worldwide vision for the future.

Mr. Graham, unlike the average octogenarian, has great events planned for his furture. He indicated that he and his staff are prayerfully considering two or three invitations to conduct missions, and as God leads them, they will act, because, as Graham quoted, all ¡°is in God¡¯s hands.¡±

By Pauline J.