On November 7, Billy Graham celebrated his 85th birthday quietly at home with his family.
After another year of active ministry, including crusades in San Diego and Oklahoma City, he has been resting at home with his family, getting ready for greater plans for his next year evangelistic ministry. He has been meeting with BGEA leaders including his son Franklin for next year’s crusade.
"I never dreamed that I would live to be 85," Mr. Graham said. "I am grateful to the Lord for the strength He gives me to hold additional crusades."
At the age of 85, health comes to be the urgent issue in one’s life. So it is for Mr. Graham. His health continues to be a factor in his ministry projects. But many physicians think he would be able to continue to preach additional crusades.
The past year has been emotionally difficult for Mr. Graham, as he lost both his younger brother Melvin and good friend Johnny Cash, both of whom he misses. "I look forward to being reunited with them again one day in Heaven," he said.
Mr. Graham will announce his 2004 crusade schedule in January. Until then, his plans include remaining close contact with his ministry and friends, spending much time with his wife and family, including 19 grandchildren and more than 20 great-grandchildren, during the upcoming holidays.
His ministry work will again greatly partake in expansion of God’s Kingdom in 2004.