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Billy Graham celebrates 95th birthday

Rev. Billy Graham (File/FOX Carolina) Rev. Billy Graham (File/FOX Carolina)

The famed evangelist and reverend who calls western North Carolina home will be honored Thursday with a large party to celebrate his 95th birthday.

Rev. Billy Graham was born on Nov. 7, 1918, in Charlotte but now calls Montreat home.

To celebrate his lifelong career as a spiritual adviser to several presidents, his hundreds of crusades all across the world and his work as a Christian evangelist, more than 800 invited guests will arrive in Asheville to celebrate his birthday at the Grove Park Inn Thursday night.

From North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to Donald Trump, there will be many high-profile pastors and celebrities in attendance including Sarah Palin, Rupert Murdoch, Rick Warren, Michael W. Smith and more.

They, along with the reverend himself and his family, will all celebrate Graham's birthday when the event starts at 6:30 p.m. Graham is not expected to give a speech at the event but his latest outreach will be released.

The event will debut his video message titled "My Hope America." The message is scheduled to air on national networks starting Thursday night and some local networks in the coming days.

Graham's health has declined some in recent years. His son Franklin Graham has said his father has round-the-clock care, but still thinks and speaks very clearly. Billy Graham has had hospital stays for pneumonia and bronchitis.



Schedule for the event:

  • 6:45 Franklin Graham
  • 6:48 Prayer - Bishop George Battle Jr.
  • 6:50 Franklin Graham intro message from Billy Graham
  • 7:22 Franklin Graham prayer and begin dinner
  • 7:56 NC Gov. Pat McCrory
  • 8:00 Gov. Sarah Palin
  • 8:04 Greta Van Susteren
  • 8:06 Michael W. Smith, Ricky Skaggs, Lacrae, Lacey Sturm, Kathie Lee Gifford - lead group Happy Birthday
  • 8:09 Closing Prayer by Rev. Don Wilton
  • 8:12 Franklin Graham closing remarks




Stay with FOX Carolina and for complete coverage of Thursday's events.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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