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Franklin Graham writing book about lessons from his father

Franklin Graham is writing a book about the lessons, most of them spiritual, that he learned from his famous father, Charlotte-born evangelist Billy Graham .

The younger Graham said Thursday that he started “Through My Father's Eyes” just after his mother, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007 and hopes to finish the book in time to have it published in late 2014 or early 2015.

Billy Graham, now 95 and in fragile health, has written many books himself over the years, including an autobiography (“Just As I Am”) and a 2011 meditation on growing old in faith (”Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well”).

With the elder Graham’s public career over – his last crusade was in 2005 – and now part of American history, several books about his life and legacy are expected soon from scholars and biographers.

Franklin Graham said he saw the value of a more personal book, one by a son about his father.

“I think it’s important that there be a book from the son who worked closely with his father, day in and day out, for the last 30 years,” said Graham, who heads both the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, an international charity headquartered in Boone. “It’ll be about a life of things that I have learned watching my father.”

For starters, he said, his time sitting on the BGEA board while Billy Graham was still active gave him a road map of how to organize Samaritan’s Purse. “When God gave me Samaritan’s Purse, I didn’t have a lot to go on,” he said. “But sitting on the (BGEA) board and watching my father, I learned lessons from the boardroom.”

But most of the lessons in the book will be spiritual ones that he hopes will help pastors and churches.

“I showed what I have written to one gentleman (to check for accuracy), and he gave a very large check, telling me, ‘I want this to go to every seminary student in America,’ ” Graham said.

Graham said he has also discussed “Through My Father’s Eyes” with his dad. Billy Graham’s reaction: “Aw shucks.”

The book will be published by the W Publishing Group, which is part of Thomas Nelson Inc., a leading publisher of evangelical Christian books.

Franklin Graham has written several books, including one about his life called “Rebel With a Cause.”

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