Rev. Graham discusses past in new interview

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - The Rev. Billy Graham is just a few weeks from turning 93, and while he still deals with a number of health issues, he's not done trying to spread his message.

He has a new book coming out, a new exhibit at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, and he most recently sat down for a new interview, something he rarely does these days.

The interview was comfortable and casual between two long-time friends, Graham and Bill Gaither, talking about old times. It was taped at Graham's home in Montreat, NC, as part of Gaither's own upcoming video release.

"Do you think the work ethic that your dad taught you prepared you later for the ministry?" Gaither asked.

"Absolutely," Graham said. "And then to work with the men that we had on the farm, and we became a team of people. And that developed my thought of having a team of people. And I've had that privilege to have with me some of the greatest people on earth to help me in my ministry."

That new interview is not the only push to keep Graham's message out there, though. The library has a new exhibit showcasing the writings of the evangelist and his late wife, Ruth.

Joanna and Albert Blum drove up from Florida to see it all and called the display inspiring. "We're so privileged to be here," Joanne said.

Graham's book notes are part of the exhibit, and there's a dictaphone he used to record ideas. All 29 books he's written are on display, including the first -- "Calling Youth to Christ" -- and his most recent "Nearing Home," which comes out next month.

Library promotions manager Diane Wise said the new book is about preparing for old age.

"You know you don't want to wait until you're old to start worrying about the fact that you're old. You want to prepare ahead of time, spiritually, take a look at your life and I think that's what he tries to do in this book, is prepare people to do that," Wise said.

The Billy Graham organization is working hard to connect with younger generations, too. It has an active Twitter page and several Facebook pages with more than one million fans. Wise says it's all about keeping Graham's message alive.

"I think it's accomplishing what Billy wanted it to accomplish, what he had in his heart to share is continuing to go out there," Wise said.

Graham was hospitalized in May with a case of pneumonia. Those close to him say the reverend is doing well now. He spends a lot of time at his home in Montreat, but he still gets out from time to time.

Family said he doesn't see or hear well, but the said he came up with a lot of the ideas and stories himself, shared them with staff members, and they talked it out into book form.

For more information about the new exhibit, "A Legacy of Literature," at the Billy Graham Library: http://www.billygrahamlibrary.org/pgview.aspx?pid=18&eid=39.

The Rev. Billy Graham's new book "Nearing Home: Thoughts On Life, Faith, and Finishing Well" will be released Oct. 18.  For more information: http://www.billygrahambookstore.org/.

The recent interview with the Rev. Graham is for the new Gaither "Tent Revival Homecoming" DVD.