Amid Birthday, Graham's Legacy Lives On

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CWN.org - Billy Graham has given advice to every U.S. president since Eisenhower, but his role as "Pastor to the Presidents" may be ending.

Dr. Graham's son Franklin says his father feels his time as a counselor to the nation's leaders is over.

Still, Billy Graham says he is praying though for President-elect Barack Obama.

While Graham's preaching and pastoral ministry may be over, his messages are still reaching millions. For nearly 60 years he has spread the gospel message to the world, but today he rarely preaches.

Nov. 7, Graham celebrated his 90th birthday and a lifetime of service to the Lord. His rise to international prominence began with the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade.

Today, his son Franklin follows the family tradition with campaigns like a recent one in Taiwan.

Many in the crowd remembered his father's crusade in the same city, 33 years ago, and those past sermons are still having an impact.

Coinciding with Graham's birthday, the father and son team launched a national television campaign in Brazil.

"The 'My Hope' project has now been held in 43 countries of the world. Brazil is the 44th. But this is probably the largest project the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has ever held," said Bill Conard, International Crusade director. "There are more churches involved. There are over 48,000 churches involved. There are over 800,000 homes involved."

For several years the Graham ministry has moved from country to country training Christians how to turn their homes into centers for evangelism.

Their tool is the "My Hope" TV series. A few days before the latest broadcasts, Brazil's national Congress recognized the work of Billy Graham.

"I think it shows that a very simple man has had a worldwide impact. I think it shows the appreciation of Brazil for the gospel," Conard said. "And I think it shows the continuing openness of this country to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. And not only this country, but other countries in other parts of the world."

The next evangelistic TV campaign will be held in Singapore this December. It will be the ministry's 45th "My Hope" crusade.

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