Evangelist Billy Graham seems to have closed out his 60-year career as the country’s most famous evangelist. After calling thousands to faith decisions at a brief appearance in wounded New Orleans last month, he acknowledged that “this is probably the last evangelistic sermon I’ll ever preach.”
Frail and tentative, the 87-year-old Graham shuffled behind a walker toward the pulpit set at one end of the New Orleans Arena on March 12 as a crowd his organization estimated at 16,300 stood to give a sustained roar of applause.
His son and ministry heir, Franklin Graham, gently assisted him into place as flash bulbs sent pulsating light through the arena. Watching outside on jumbo TV screens was an overflow crowd of 1,500.