JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ The Rev. Billy Graham was released from a hospital Tuesday, nearly a week after checking in with pneumonia.

The 79-year-old evangelist, greeted by about two dozen well-wishers as he walked out of the hospital on his own, said that he felt ``excellent'' and was heading home to Montreat, N.C., for the holidays.

Asked what he would be doing next, he said: ``Preaching.''

Graham was taken to St. Luke's Hospital on Dec. 3, suffering chills, fever and dehydration. He had been vacationing in the Caribbean and the Jacksonville hospital was the nearest affiliate of the Mayo Clinic.

Graham suffers from Parkinson's disease and has been a Mayo Clinic patient.

``We've been very encouraged by Dr. Graham's quick recovery,'' said Dr. Charles Burger, who treated Graham.

Burger said that Graham would continue taking antibiotics and that doctors suggested he take it easy for a few weeks.