PICS: Rev. Billy Graham Turns 95 Thursday - WSPA.com

PICS: Rev. Billy Graham Turns 95 Thursday

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His prominence has faded with advancing age, but recent comparisons to the new Pope have brought him back into the conversation. Both men have preached openness, rather than hardline positions. His prominence has faded with advancing age, but recent comparisons to the new Pope have brought him back into the conversation. Both men have preached openness, rather than hardline positions.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -

The Reverend Billy Graham turns 95 on Thursday.

Graham has counseled every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, and his Evangelical preaching reached millions.

His prominence has faded with advancing age, but recent comparisons to the new Pope have brought him back into the conversation. Both men have preached openness, rather than hardline positions.

"My granddad was actually criticized for not taking more public stands on social issues like abortion, like homosexuality like those things that Evangelical Christians for the last 25 years have been almost fixated on," said Graham's grandson, Reverend Tullian Tchividjian.

Graham's ministry plans to celebrate his 95th birthday with a party in Asheville and a national telecast of his pre-recorded evangelistic program, "My Hope America."

Eight hundred people are expected to attend the event, including Christian singer Michael W. Smith, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Franklin Graham says his father will attend, but doesn't plan to speak and won't be able to shake everyone's hand.

See Amy Wood's special report on Graham's birthday and a look at his life Thursday at 6 p.m.  Click here to see more.

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