Upstate pastor speaks out about ailing Billy Graham - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Upstate pastor speaks out about ailing Billy Graham

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SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The evangelist Billy Graham has advised presidents and spread the gospel to millions across the world. Now, the 95-year-old ailing pastor is turning to his friend and Upstate pastor Don Wilton.

Wilton, a pastor at First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, said he has known Graham for over a decade and still continues to visit him at his North Carolina estate. He said their relationship began when the evangelist invited him to his home a short time after his first sermon at the church.

"Increasingly, I was invited to come back and became his pastor and his very close friend over the years, and so I make very frequent trips to go and be with him," Wilton said.

Wilton made his latest trip to Graham's mountain estate on Thursday and said Graham's spirit has not diminished, despite his body growing weaker.

"Mr. Graham's overall health is declining but his spirit is still very strong, and he's very grateful for the hundreds of people around the world who are remembering him in prayer," Wilton said about Graham's health.

Todd Shearer, Graham family spokesperson says that Reverend Graham is feeling better than he was earlier this week. Shearer says the 95-year-old is comfortable at his home in Montreat.

"I think in many ways, I have the privilege of holding his hand while he dies...while he goes to be with the Lord," Wilton told FOX Carolina News.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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