Billy Graham, 95, Gives 'Last Sermon'

Trump, Palin among 850 guests at birthday party
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2013 2:02 AM CST
'Last Sermon' Aired for Billy Graham's 95th Birthday
Sarah Palin and her husband Todd arrive at the Grove Park Inn for a celebration of Billy Graham's 95th birthday in Asheville, NC.   (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Todd Sumlin)

Billy Graham is too frail to preach these days but a video billed as his final sermon made its debut at the evangelist's 95th birthday party last night. In My Hope America, which will be aired on Christian TV stations and churches across America, Graham calls for a "spiritual awakening" and warns that the nation has strayed. "There have been times that I've wept as I've gone from city to city and I've seen how far people have wandered from God," he says. More than 800 people, including plenty of celebrities and politicians, attended Graham's birthday celebration at a North Carolina hotel.

Graham, who received a standing ovation when he entered the room in a wheelchair, gave special thanks to 90-year-old music director Cliff Barrows, a part of his spiritual "crusades" since they began in 1944, the Charlotte Observer reports. Other guests included Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, singer Ricky Skaggs, and Sarah Palin, who thanked Graham for transforming her mother's life. "My mom was raised Catholic, and she ... was yearning for something more," Palin tells USA Today. "His invitation for people to know that they could have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ—my mom understood that from the way that he could articulate it. She became a Christian, led the rest of the family to Christ." (Read more Billy Graham stories.)

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