State News

Trump, Palin, McCrory help Billy Graham celebrate 95th birthday

Posted November 7, 2013

— Politicians, business leaders, celebrities and hundreds of faithful joined the Rev. Billy Graham Thursday as he reached a significant milestone. On Nov. 7, 1918, the man who would become known as "America's pastor," was born. 

As the North Carolina-born evangelist turned 95, a big party was held at the Grove Park Inn to celebrate the occasion. Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Kathy Lee Gifford and Gov. Pat McCrory were some of the guests in attendance.

"He’s like the first son of North Carolina," McCrory said. "He’s made our state proud. He was born in Charlotte. He continued to make North Carolina his home, and he’s never embarrassed us, you know, because he is so humble."

Although Graham retired from preaching publicly in 2005, his career in the pulpit saw him become among the most high-profile religious leaders of the 20th century, a man who counseled presidents and whose message, in person and via broadcast media, is estimated to have reached billions of people worldwide.

It was President George H.W. Bush who tagged Graham "America's pastor." Graham served as a spiritual adviser to the man in the White House beginning with Democrat Harry Truman and lasting through Republican George W. Bush.

Despite his access, Graham sought to stay above the fray of politics, saying, "Evangelists cannot be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle in order to preach to all people, right and left."

The Rev. Billy Graham Party marks Billy Graham's 95th birthday

In recent years, Graham has spent his time reading, writing and entertaining the occasional visitor – among them President Barack Obama and then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin – at his home in Montreat.

Graham's son Franklin has said that as many as 800 people were invited to the party in Asheville. Guests were treated to the premiere of Graham's new 30-minute program, "The Cross."

Over the next week, "The Cross" will air on 480 stations nationwide. Check your channel guide for details.


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  • ccsmith1902 Nov 8, 2013

    And Franklin Graham seated his father at dinner between Trump and Murdoch - two sleeze-bags. Out of 800 people, why didn't he choose someone reputable! After 95 years that's pretty tacky on Franklin's part.

  • mmpmacz Nov 8, 2013

    Listening to what graham told Nixon in all those phone conversations should really show someone what kind of a person he actually is. Antisemitism is one of the sickest diseases a person can have.

  • NcNativeRaleigh Nov 8, 2013

    The devils always know where the saints live.

  • EricaSliver Nov 8, 2013

    Wow! this would be my definition of "HECK"

  • redstarlean Nov 8, 2013

    "It is a simple message. Accept Jesus as your Saviour. As he indicated last night, the Cross is offensive to those who want to be their own master."

    Yes we Jews know all about you cross and the death and horro it has cause to Non christians

  • redstarlean Nov 8, 2013

    I will give it to graham, I went to one of his shows in the 60's in NYC In Madison square garden, he knows how to fleece the flock and use emotionalism through music and storytelling

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 8, 2013

    I don't understand why you would not post this -- what have I said/dibe that breaks any rule?

    "...Samaritan's Purse did more for the people of New Orleans than any other organization after the great hurricane and flood..."


    I don't know what organization did the most, but Samaritan's Purse was certainly involved early on. They go all over the world, not just in the great 50 states. I know they were involved in helping in the Haiti disaster, as I have a friend who went on that trip and I got frequent emails and some phone calls in that regard. Samaritan's Purse also rushed to help out during Hurricane Sandy.

  • veyor Nov 8, 2013

    It is a simple message. Accept Jesus as your Saviour. As he indicated last night, the Cross is offensive to those who want to be their own master.

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 8, 2013

    Samaritan's Purse did more for the people of New Orleans than any other organization after the great hurricane and flood. cbuckyoung

    What about FEMA?


    Here's something about FEMA. (I don't know why I'm bothering to post anything, as my posts are not making it to the forum and I don't think I'm breaking any rules.)

  • oddportal Nov 8, 2013

    Can't believe people on this blog have the audacity to bad mouth this incredible man of God... was written by someone... I say With the vile hate and bully pulpit coming from the Graham TV Preacher camp of today... His past words mean nothing to me and I will find my path to God somewhere else... Never will I listen to the Word from his prodicgal son