Published September 10, 2009
WOODSTOCK — The Franklin Graham Festival that had been calendared for this summer has been rescheduled for next spring as a one-day event designed to reach the younger generation.
The evangelistic event planned for April 24 in the Atlanta area may take on the format of four recent summer events that were designed to take the gospel up the Mississippi River.
These four events, called Rock the River, started in Baton Rouge on July 18 and ended in Minneapolis/St Paul Aug. 16. The band Flyleaf appeared at all four Rock the River events and their presence created a buzz among young people. Franklin Graham was the speaker for the events and God blessed with numerous commitments.
Jeff Anderson, director of Crusades for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, stated, “Our hearts bleed for today’s young people. I am 53 years old and I was not into their music, but when I started listening to the lyrics I began to get into it.
“All I know,” Anderson continued, “is that young people born between 1985 and the early 2000s will be the largest generation in American history. It is also true that 80 percent of those who respond to the gospel do so before age 18; and we decided we had to do something to reach today’s youth.
“An atheist computer geek came to one of our Rock the River events and said, ‘It is not as bad to be here as I thought.’ We have found that high school and college students have felt comfortable inviting their friends to these events and God is blessing in a remarkable way.”
Pastor Johnny Hunt, who hosted the meeting at First Baptist Woodstock, stated, “I am committed to this event. There is nothing like seeing people get saved. The older I get the more I want to be involved in reaching the lost and the least. God help us not to forget this new generation.”
Jason Nave, associate pastor of Blackshear Place Baptist Church in Flowery Branch, and Bob Jolly, pastor of First Baptist Church in Cumming, are the co-chairmen of the event. Nave presided over the meeting and Jolly addressed the church leaders in attendance, emphasizing, “This is not just an event, but a process that will increase the evangelism capacity of our churches.”
The Christian Index will keep you posted as specific plans unfold in regards to this April BGEA event.
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