Billy Graham hospitalised with respiratory congestion issue; expected home in a day or two

Evangelist Billy GrahamAP

The Rev. Billy Graham has been taken to hospital after suffering respiratory problems earlier this week.

The 95-year-old evangelist was taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., on Tuesday and is expected to be released in a couple of days.

Family spokesman Mark DeMoss stated: "Mr. Graham is in the hospital with a respiratory congestion issue, similar to what he had a few weeks ago. As was the case then, we expect he will be able to return home in a day or two."

Prior to being hospitalised this week, Graham was taken to hospital at the end of October for a routine check-up.

Graham, also known as "America's Pastor", celebrated his 95th birthday on Nov. 7 with hundreds of people including notable politicians and business leaders from across the nation.

After decades of preaching, Graham released a DVD which may be his final public message in an evangelical effort called "My Hope America, with Billy Graham" to reach people across the United States with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the message, he said, "Our country's in great need of a spiritual awakening...There have been times that I've wept as I've gone from city to city and I've seen how far people have wandered from God."

The video of "The Cross" from "My Hope America" can be seen online here.

The 28-minute programme aired on Billy Graham's birthday. Nearly 500 local TV stations and 25,000 churches from across America also showed the DVD.

The retired evangelist has preached to millions of people in 185 countries worldwide over his lifetime. He served as a spiritual advisor to the White House from President Harry Truman's time in office to George W. Bush.