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Graham sees new mural of self in Florida town

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The Rev. Billy Graham slipped quietly into the small north Florida town where he was baptized and ordained more than 60 years ago to see a new mural of himself and to meet with old friends.

About two dozen people came by City Barber Shop in Palatka to visit the ailing 82-year-old evangelist, who is being treated as an outpatient at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, about 50 miles to the north.

Graham was baptized in nearby Silver Lake in 1938 and was ordained at the town's Peniel Baptist Church the next year.

"I'm just honored that you'd even come," Graham told the crowd Sunday. "I thought there would be just two or three people, but to have all of you here today is just a moving thing for me.

"I won't tell you what's wrong with me because I'm not sure I know myself," he said, adding he was "getting better a little at a time."

Graham was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease about seven years ago and has been hospitalized several times.

Graham recalled how he "used to walk up and down these streets practicing sermons because I heard a man say that no sermon is worth preaching until you've practiced it 25 times. I'd wear myself out practicing so that when I went to preach, I was too tired. But it did help me."