Billy Graham hospitalized in Asheville - Word&Way

Billy Graham hospitalized in Asheville

ASHEVILLE, N.C.—Evangelist Billy Graham was hospitalized Aug. 11 for a suspected case of bronchitis, according to new reports over the weekend.

Billy Graham preached his last official evangelistic crusade in 2005. (File photo)

It’s the second time in less than a year the 93-year-old Graham has been taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville, about 20 miles from his Montreat, N.C., home. Last November, he was admitted with a case of pneumonia.

The Charlotte Observer [] reported Aug. 12 Graham was alert and in good spirits and was receiving antibiotics. A hospital spokesman said the hospital expects to treat the evangelist for several days.

Graham developed a fever and cough Saturday night and doctors decided on hospitalization to keep the infection from worsening, the Observer reported.

After seven decades in public ministry, Graham is arguably America’s most well-known clergyman and his health is followed closely by Christians around the world. Ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, he moved his membership from First Baptist Church in Dallas—where it had been since 1953—to First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C., in 2008. He rarely attends worship services, however, remaining homebound in Montreat and making few public appearances.

In a memoir released last year, Graham discussed the challenges of growing old—both for himself and for the senior adults in general.

“All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die,” he wrote in Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well. “I wish they had because I am an old man now and believe me, it’s not easy.”

Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007.