Rev. Billy Graham Celebrates 90th Birthday

By MIKE BAKER
Associated Press Writer

Rev. Billy Graham Celebrates 90th Birthday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Billy Graham’s work as a pastor to presidents is coming to an end, but he is praying for Barack Obama as the nation’s next leader begins his work, Graham’s son said Friday on the aging evangelist’s 90th birthday.

Franklin Graham said in an interview that his father’s mind remains sharp even as his body continues to fail. But the preacher who has counseled every president beginning with Eisenhower is not in line to mentor Obama.

“My father feels like his time and day for that is over,” Franklin Graham said. “But he would certainly like to meet (Obama) and pray with him.”

Graham’s views of the world are still respected in White House circles. Republican presidential candidate John McCain visited Graham at his mountainside home during the campaign, and Obama tried to meet Graham but wasn’t able to do so because of the preacher’s poor health.

“He’s always been ready to die,” Franklin Graham said. “But nobody’s prepared him for getting old.”

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