Update: Billy Graham Recovering in Hospital

( [email protected] ) Aug 22, 2007 01:10 PM EDT

The Rev. Billy Graham is recovering at a hospital and in fair condition after two brief bouts with intestinal bleeding.

The latest bleeding occurred Monday morning, two days after the evangelist was admitted to Mission Health and Hospitals in Asheville, N.C., near his Montreat home, for his first bleeding episode.

Graham's eldest son, Franklin, issued a statement Monday saying his father is gaining strength and is able to speak coherently.

"He's doing real well," he told reporters. "He's been sitting up, has watched TV, and has eaten solid food.

On Sunday, the 88-year-old evangelist was able to watch a televised worship service from First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, S.C., hospital officials said, according to The Associated Press.

Franklin Graham, who is scheduled to preach at a Festival of Hope in Ecuador beginning Thursday, said he feels sure that his father will be back to his old self in no time.

According to Mission spokeswoman Merrell Gregory, Graham will remain hospitalized for observation. Additional tests will be performed to find the source of the bleeding and to determine a course for his ongoing care. Earlier, physicians said the bleeding may have come from diverticuli, small pouches that can form in the lower intestine. These may become irritated and bleed. The illness was not seen as life-threatening.

Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June at the age of 87. She was buried at the foot of a cross-shaped walkway in the Prayer Garden at the newly opened Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., where the renowned evangelist will eventually be laid to rest.