Those who followed Billy Graham worry about his health - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Those who followed Billy Graham worry about his health

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TYLER (KYTX) - The family of evangelist Billy graham is asking for prayers.

Graham was hospitalized for a respiratory infection twice in the last two months.

Graham's son says his father is "extremely week but his vitals are good."

And that still has many people who have followed him worried about how he will recover.

"It's one of my treasures to have the autograph of Billy Graham," says Paul Powell about a bible he's holding signed by the evangelist.

Powell holds a worn, old bible tightly in his hands.

"He was our idol, he was our hero, we all wanted to be an evangelist, wanted to be like Billy Graham," says Powell.

Powell met Billy Graham in the early 50's while he was in high school.

Traveling every Friday night to Houston from Port Arthur, with a bus full of others, to hear the evangelist speak.

"He talked fast and moved around a lot on the platform, when you're talking to 100,000 people, 75,000 people you can't just stand behind the pulpit like a statue," says Powell.

Powell knew from that point he too wanted to lead a congregation.

He went on to preach at Green Acres in Tyler for 17 years, as well as from the pulpit of many other churches across the state.

"He's preached to more people than any other man that ever lived," says Powell.

Powell met Graham again, while preaching in San Marcos, and says the man called "America's Pastor" has charisma and a simple message, reasons people from around the world are drawn to him.

Now people are worried about his health, after Graham's oldest son posted a request for prayers on his website this week.

"I know he's ready, spiritually. Probably every other way as well," says Powell.

Powell knows Graham's faith and spirit will carry him through when he's ready, and even then, people will hear his message.

"He gave Christianity new respect in America," says Powell.

Billy Graham lives in western North Carolina.

Actually grew up on a dairy farm there.

He has provided counsel to generations of U.S. presidents, beginning with Harry S. Truman.




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