Billy Graham Announces Kansas City Crusade Even After Hip Operation

( [email protected] ) Jan 10, 2004 10:39 AM EST

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Officials with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced Jan. 8 that Billy Graham, 85, would conduct a third crusade in Kansas City, Mo., June 17-20 at Arrowhead Stadium even after receiving partial left-hip surgery, Baptist Press reported. The crusade is titled as “The Heart of America Billy Graham Crusade.”

Larry Turner, vice president of crusades for the BGEA, read an acceptance letter from Graham with the longing heart of wishing to return to Kansas City.

Graham wrote: "I never expected to still be preaching at the age of 85, and yet my call to proclaim the Gospel is as strong as ever. For the past two years, the Lord has given me a burden for Kansas City, and the heart of America. Therefore, health permitting, I will be glad to come to Kansas City. My associates and I are honored to join hands with you in proclaiming the Good News, praying that many will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior."

The idea for inviting Billy Graham was initiated by a phone call to Turner from Dal Shealy, president of the Kansas City based Fellowship of Christian Athletes, who wanted to rally church and community support for the crusade, together with his pastor, Paul Brooks.

Shealy expressed the need of revival, "The consensus [among the early organizers] was we need a revival in the heart of America," Shealy said. "We need to reach out from the heart of America across America and impact the world for Jesus Christ."

"Every church that really makes this a priority is going to reap a harvest," Brooks said. "We are in the business of evangelism. That's what Baptists do. Most churches can't put together an evangelistic program with Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows, but this one is handed to us on a silver platter, for free. All we need to do is participate.

"We should see thousands and thousands of people saved and brought into our Baptist churches through this crusade."

Billy Graham broke his left hip when he fell during the night in a hotel room on the grounds of Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic on Jan. 6, where he was receiving a routine check-up. Fortunately, he received an operation that day and is expected to make a full recovery. He is recovering in a Jacksonville hospital.

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association spokesman Larry Ross said,"He will have sufficient time for healing and therapy to maintain his ministry as planned. He has said he has no plans to retire until God retires him."

Graham is known for the millions of copies books that he wrote and more than 70 million copies of various sermons. He is the founder of Christianity Today magazine in 1955, and he led the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin in 1966, the International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne in 1974, and the 1983 and 1986 International Conferences of Itinerant Evangelists.