Hospitalized Billy Graham continues to show improvement

Billy Graham speaks in 2005 during his Crusade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York.

Story highlights

  • Evangelist, 93, showing progress in recovery from pneumonia, hospital says
  • He is walking more, North Carolina hospital spokeswoman says
  • Graham was admitted to the Asheville hospital Wednesday in stable condition
  • No discharge date has been set; he also was hospitalized in May
Evangelist Billy Graham is showing signs of improvement as he continues to recover from pneumonia in a North Carolina hospital, a spokeswoman for Asheville's Mission Hospital said Sunday.
The 93-year-old Graham was admitted to the hospital Wednesday in stable condition.
"Doctors are encouraged by Mr. Graham's significant clinical progress, but have not yet set a date for discharge," hospital spokeswoman Merrell Gregory said in a statement.
Gregory also reported progress in Graham's physical therapy, saying he is "walking more in the private corridor outside his room."
Graham was visited over the weekend by his family, according to Gregory. He also watched on television his pastor deliver his regular Sunday sermon, she said.
This is Graham's second bout with pneumonia this year. He was previously hospitalized for the infection in May.
Graham, a resident of nearby Montreat, has provided counsel to generations of U.S. presidents beginning with Harry S. Truman and is the founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The Charlotte native has preached to untold millions over six decades, beginning his missionary work in 1944 when he started speaking at rallies for the Youth for Christ Campus Life ministry. Five years later, Graham was holding crusades in tents in downtown Los Angeles. Originally scheduled for three weeks, the crusades drew so many followers they were extended to seven.
Graham's "last crusade" in June 2005 drew a total of 230,000 people.
He described it as his last American crusade, but hedged his farewells during a poignant appearance in Corona Park in Queens, New York.
"We hope to come back again someday," Graham announced. "I was asked in an interview if this was our last crusade and I said it probably is -- in New York. But I also said, 'I never say never.' "