NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) â€” After preaching to more than 210 million people in nearly 200 countries over the past 50 years, Billy Graham is nearing the end of his crusades.
The 81-year-old Southern Baptist preacher, who has Parkinson's disease, said his crusade in Nashville next week will be one of his last. Another one is planned in November in Jacksonville, Fla.
``I felt in my heart that this would be the last year of my crusades, and Nashville is one of the cities God laid on my heart to visit,'' the Southern Baptist preacher said.
Graham said he will continue to preach at smaller engagements.
``I'll be preaching to crowds as long as I can,'' he said. ``I feel very fortunate God has spared me this long. I'm looking forward to going to heaven but also to keep serving him right here. There aren't many 81-year-old evangelists.''
Graham's son Franklin is ready to inherit the Graham ministry. He attends each crusade in case his father cannot preach. One of Graham's daughters, Anne Graham Lotz, conducted her first big crusade this month.