• Rev. Billy Graham returns home after hospital stay

    By: Jim Bradley


    MONTREAT, N.C. - Charlotte's own pastor, the Rev. Billy Graham, is home after he was released from the hospital Thursday.

    Followers of his crusade are lifting up support and prayers for him.

    Graham spent two nights at Mission Hospital after he was admitted for tests on his lungs.

    Two people who are close to Graham told Channel 9 he got out of the hospital shortly after lunchtime and is home Thursday night and doing well.

    Nearly everyone Channel 9 spoke with in Montreat they had heard he was in the hospital in Asheville.

    A spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that Graham had gone to the hospital on Tuesday for medical pulmonary tests and stayed two nights.

    He was alert the whole time and did not have any problems with the scheduled tests.

    Several people said they've been praying for Graham, whose 95th birthday is just two weeks away.

    "My prayers are he stays healthy and with his upcoming last message that is coming out in November. We're looking forward to that," said resident Steve Freeman.

    "He is right up the road. His house is built out of an old cabin. He is an iconic figure in America," said resident Kent Spelman.

    There is a lot of excitement about that 95th birthday, which is invitation only and being held at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville.

    The grounds of the Billy Graham Library are an appropriate place to gauge response to the latest news about arguably the world's best known evangelist.

    Graham's wife Ruth was buried here 6 years ago and crowds continue to come to learn more about his life story and ministry.

    Even the mention Graham was in the hospital was enough to raise concern, but also gratitude that Graham is reportedly home, alert and in good spirits.

    “We feel for him being in and out of the hospital and sick. But we know where he's going and someday we'll be there with him and we look forward to that,” visitor Bob Grell said.

    No official statement was released from the Billy Graham organization.

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