Live

Watch CBSN Live

Billy Graham Packs The Ballpark

The Rev. Billy Graham preached his final crusade in New York a year ago, but he made a rare appearance in Baltimore on Sunday at a revival hosted by his son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, who has taken over his father's ministry.

More than 650 local churches helped to organize the revival, which drew more than 50,000 people to Baltimore's Camden Yards.

The 87-year-old evangelist said it may be the last time he has an opportunity to preach the gospel to such a large audience.

It was a rare event, and the crowd knew it, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports.

"It was almost like a farewell tribute," said one man in the audience.

"In fact, we came from Houston, Texas," said a second man.

"You know, it's maybe a once in a lifetime type of thing," said a third.

Graham is suffering from Parkinson's disease, but when he took to the pulpit the years seemed to wash away. Still, through that strong steady voice, he acknowledged this sermon could be his last. But he never abandoned his sense of humor or connection to a new generation.

"Someone wrote to the pastor and said, 'Dear preacher, what does God forgives you, mean?' Signed, Confused.' The preacher wrote back, 'It means all your files are deleted.' And that's exactly what God does," said Graham in his sermon.

Minister to presidents and millions of common people around the world, Graham proved he still has the power to move thousands to make a commitment to Christ. At his invitation, they poured from the stands.

"I know it's a long way from upstairs, but your whole eternal life depends on it," Graham told the crowd.

He also thanked the Baltimore Orioles for allowing the use of their ballpark, joking, "From what I've read, I believe they need our prayers."

But the man who once traveled the globe to spread his message no longer wants to be away from home. His son says it's the small things that matter to him the most now.

"You're talking about a man now who's 88, who's just happy to wake up in the morning, who's thrilled when he has his breakfast and has a cup of coffee," said Franklin Graham.

View CBS News In