Billy Graham's Last Crusade

The Rev. Billy Graham speaks on stage on the third and last day of his farewell American revival in the Queens borough of New York Sunday, June 26, 2005.
The Rev. Billy Graham is at peace with his decision not to preach any more crusades, says his daughter.

Anne Graham Lotz of Raleigh says her father has accepted that his three-day New York crusade in June was his last.

"The time has come for him not to carry that load of responsibility," Lotz told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, "Preaching every night in a crusade is enormously stressful physically and emotionally and spiritually."

Back in June, nearly 250,000 people turned out over three days in New York City to hear Graham preach for the last time after a 60-year career that took him all over the world. There was speculation then that he might go to London and preach again in a crusade setting.

But Lotz said practical circumstances led to her father's decision not to do another crusade.

"He'll be 85 in November. He has Parkinson's disease. He suffered with prostate cancer. He's deaf, basically," she explained.

That does not mean his preaching days are over. Lotz noted, "He may be preaching some from my brother's platform, and certainly speak at other meetings, but not his own Billy Graham crusade." Lotz's brother, the Rev. Franklin Graham, is president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

The message of the gospel is in his heart and he still wants to proclaim it, Lotz said, adding, "He loves Jesus; loves God's word; loves the fact that God loves the whole world that He sent His own Son to be its savior. That's in his heart. I was with him last week. He looked right at me and said, 'I have such peace.' You can look at his face and see the contentment. Now, we were watching something on the news. And he turned to me and said, 'Anne, that would make a great introduction to a sermon.'"

An evangelist herself, Lotz said her father's final crusade has now been documented in a book called, "Living in God's Love." She wrote the foreword.

"This book has his three messages that he gave at the crusade," Lotz explained, "But the messages are really summarized in John 3:16, that 'God so loved the world.' That's why He sent Jesus to take away our sin."