(CBS News) Rev. Billy Graham on Thursday night celebrated his 95th birthday, choosing the occasion to preach what many are calling his final sermon.
But a man best known for traditional orations delivered his last message in a very modern way. Graham's "sermon" was a highly-produced, 30-minute film called "The Cross." His family debuted the film at Graham's birthday celebration in North Carolina where hundreds of well-wishers turned out to celebrate the minister. Guests included Donald Trump and Kathy Lee Gifford. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shared a moment about how Graham touched her life.
Palin said, "If it weren't for Rev. Graham, I don't know where I would be."
Graham rose to prominence as a great orator. In 1957, more than 100,000 people filled Yankee Stadium to hear him speak. At the time, it was the largest crowd the stadium had ever held. Audiences as small as one were captivated by Graham's presence. He was close with several presidents, from Richard Nixon to George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton.
But it was his presence on radio and television that grew Graham's flock. Millions tuned into his special programs.
Graham's sermon was broadcast in churches around the country, and could be seen by audiences at home. And after almost a century, his final message to the world remains unchanged -- no matter how it reaches its audience.