Evangelist Billy Graham hospitalized for possible pneumonia

ASHEVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Evangelist Billy Graham has been hospitalized near his home for treatment of possible pneumonia, officials say.

According to Mission Hospital in Asheville, Rev. Graham, 93, was admitted to the hospital for evaluation and treatment of his lungs.

Graham's doctor says that he is listed in stable condition at the hospital. His pulmonologist says that Graham is being tested for possible pneumonia.

Graham hospitalized earlier this year for treatment of pneumonia in May 2011. He resumed his ongoing program of physical therapy and normal activity shortly after release, according to his staff.

Upon admittance, he was alert, smiling and waving at hospital staff. Graham reportedly looking forward to returning home to spend the upcoming Christmas holidays with his family.

Rev. Graham celebrated his 93rd birthday earlier this month.

"Even as I look forward to seeing Jesus Christ face to face, and to being reunited with Ruth, my parents, and a host of friends who have now gone on before me, God continues to give me time on earth," Rev. Graham wrote on his website on November 7.

"My failing eyesight keeps me from reading as I once did, and my physical stamina is low, but I have more time to pray. I talk to the Lord about the needs of family and friends, and about the work of evangelism that God has called us to at BGEA."

Graham says that God has allowed him to preach in person in over 185 countries his my lifetime.

"I would like to preach again," Graham wrote. "But for now don't have the strength to stand before an audience."

Graham released his 30th book, "Nearing Home," in October and nearly 1,700 audio files from his public ministry have been posted online.

Graham served as confidante to presidents and toured the world for his famous crusades. He says he tries to spend as much time as he can with his family and occasionally meets with Christian leaders and old friends.

He also keeps up daily Bible reading and prayer time, and has said he hopes to preach a sermon one last time.

Graham's public career spanned more than six decades. He first rose to national prominence during a 1949 revival in Los Angeles.

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