By Dave Faherty, Blair Miller and Greg Suskin
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WSOC-TV) — Eyewitness News Anchor Blair Miller was in Asheville Thursday night for the Rev. Billy Graham’s 95th birthday celebration.
In a ballroom packed with nearly 900 people, Graham and his best friend of nearly 70 years shared a moment that was just about them.
"Cliff and I want to thank you," Graham said. "This celebration is partly for you as well. And I want to thank you for all you have meant to me."
Cliff Barrows was musical director for all of Graham's crusades.
"That was 68 years ago and I thank God for you, my dear friend," Barrows said.
And all night, people said how grateful they were for the evangelist and his ministry.
From singers Ricky Skaggs and Michael W. Smith to Donald Trump, who said his own father was a fan.
"Billy Graham is special," Trump said.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke at Thursday night's celebration at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. She said Graham has always been bold and spoken the truth.
"So appreciative of what he's done in impacting our world," Palin said.
The reverend delivered a message that's been on his heart for the past three years.
His son, Franklin Graham, said Billy Graham originally wanted to preach in a stadium, but didn't have the strength.
Instead, he recorded the message from his living room, and turned those recordings into a series of videos called "My Hope America."
They include powerful messages from the reverend and testimonies.