A grandson of late evangelist Billy Graham is out of intensive care after being diagnosed with COVID-19, relatives said.
Jonathan Lotz, a North Carolina evangelical minister who heads Jonathan Lotz Ministries in Clemmons, was moved out of ICU at an undisclosed hospital, according to a Facebook post Wednesday by his mother.
“PRAISE GOD!!!” wrote Anne Graham Lotz, one of the Rev. Billy Graham’s five children. “Praise our prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God! Jonathan has just been moved out of ICU. Now he begins rehab!”
Lotz’s mother announced late Saturday that he had been hospitalized in “critical condition” after contracting the virus that has killed nearly 4.2 million people worldwide and more than 609,000 in the United States as of Thursday.
“Fifty years ago I could hold my son in my arms,” wrote Graham Lotz, who founded AnGeL Ministries in Raleigh. “Now I have placed him in the arms of Jesus.”
Lotz’s sister said he started showing “signs of improvement” late Tuesday.
“His attitude has been positive the entire time!!” Rachel-Ruth Lotz Wright wrote on Facebook. “My guess is the nurses must be fighting over who gets to care for him, because he is so sweet!”
Lotz Wright asked the public to keep praying for her brother’s oxygen levels to improve while thanking those who reached out to the family.
“The outpouring of prayers and support has brought our family to tears a bunch!” her post continued. “We know we aren’t the only ones going through difficulty – so thank you for your compassion.”
Lotz preaches the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” across North Carolina and the US, according to his website.
“Though he didn’t think it would ever happen to him, Jonathan experienced athletic disappointment, then cancer, then divorce, then unemployment,” the site reads. “Jonathan tells how God has brought him through challenge after challenge.”
His grandfather, the Rev. Billy Graham, died at age 99 at his North Carolina home in 2018.
Graham was remembered as one of the 20th century’s most influential religious figures for preaching Christianity to some 215 million people in 185 countries over seven decades. He was widely considered “America’s pastor,” praying with 12 presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan in 1983.
“I felt unworthy of the honor, and still do,” the renowned spiritual leader said, according to the Billy Graham Library. “But whatever else it means, it will always remind me of the generosity and friendship of a remarkable man and a warm and enduring friend, Ronald Wilson Reagan.”