- (Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
Evangelist Billy Graham returned to his home in Montreat, N.C., Thursday, following a two-day stay at Mission Hospital in Asheville. He was admitted on Tuesday for pulmonary-related tests and observation, according to hospital officials.
Graham, 95, was in the hospital for similar tests last month because of a respiratory congestion. After his admission to the hospital Tuesday, family spokesman Mark DeMoss said Graham was expected to return home in a day or two.
"Mr. Graham was alert and in good spirits during his stay," said William R. Hathaway, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Mission Hospital. "We are pleased with the results of Mr. Graham's evaluation."
In a jointly released statement from Mission Hospital and DeMoss, officials said that throughout the past year, the evangelist has remained generally in good health. During this time, Graham wrote his 32nd book, The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (Thomas Nelson, October 2013), and filmed a new message, My Hope America, which aired this month on some 500 stations across the nation.
Yesterday, Graham's admirers had taken to Twitter and Facebook to express concern and call for prayer using the "#PrayingForBillyGraham" hashtag.
Graham, who retired from public preaching several years ago, held a gathering on Nov. 7 to celebrate his birthday and the release of his new message for America titled "The Cross."
The pre-recorded message, described by Graham as possibly his final one to America, was broadcast on Fox News, TBN, God TV and several other cable networks, as part of his Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's "My Hope" campaign. The message has also been made available online and on DVD.
Graham, who lost his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, in June 2007, and with whom he has five children, retreated to his North Carolina mountain home in 2005 after nearly 60 years of preaching. He has authored nearly three dozen books, his latest being The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (Oct. 2013).