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Last Updated: Monday, 27 June, 2005, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Graham addresses 'final' rally
Billy Graham
Billy Graham says he has preached to 200 million people
Tens of thousands of people have listened to what was expected to be the last sermon in the 60-year career of American evangelist Billy Graham.

In total, a quarter of a million people took part over three days in a mass prayer rally in New York.

During the meeting, Mr Graham, who has preached to 200 million people worldwide, said it might be his last.

But, when asked if he would take up an invitation to speak in London he said, "I never say never."

'Not the end'

Eighty-six-year-old Billy Graham is suffering from prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease.

"This is not the end. They may think so but I don't," Mr Graham told the gathered crowd.

"Sitting up on the platform is a long time friend, Richard Bews, who has been a minister for many years of a great Anglican church in London, and we are going to talk about going to London possibly for a crusade."

Reflecting the diversity of the crowd listening in the New York borough of Queens, the sermon was relayed by headphones in more than 20 languages.

Famous followers

On the final evening of his three-day rally, Mr Graham spoke for just 23 minutes before inviting those in the crowd to come forward and speak about their faith.

Over six decades, Billy Graham has built up a mass following from across the Christian spectrum, counting US presidents past and present among his friends.

On Saturday, former US President Bill Clinton praised Mr Graham as an example of a man who had always lived by his faith.

Over the years, Mr Graham has brought his Christian message to nearly 200 countries, including North Korea.

BBC religious affairs correspondent Jane Little in New York says that of the many thousands who came to hear Mr Graham, about a third describe themselves as evangelicals - and many say they were brought to the faith by him.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Billy Graham is greeted by a huge crowd in New York



SEE ALSO:
Billy Graham leads 'last' rally
26 Jun 05 |  Americas
Graham regrets Jewish slur
02 Mar 02 |  Americas
Graham too ill for conference
29 Jul 00 |  Europe


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