Skillet, Lecrae, The Afters and The Almost took their turns to fill Milwaukee’s Veterans Park with Gospel rock on Saturday evening while evangelist Franklin Graham touched the hearts of thousands gathered for the “Rock the Lakes” concert with God’s call for “homecoming.”
“I know … you can’t change yourself, but God can change you. But you got to come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ,” Graham told a crowd of 15,000, mostly youngsters, in one of his three Gospel messages during the concert in Milwaukee, Wis.
Graham also told the Milwaukeeans he loved Harleys and visited the Harley Davidson Museum in their city. But he was there to speak about God’s love, which he said was represented by the father in the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15.
Graham reminded the audience of Singer Amy Winehouse, who refused to change and died of alcoholism. Quoting from her song, “Rehab,” which says, “They tried to make me go to rehab, and I said, ‘No, no, no’… He’s tried to make me go to rehab, I won’t go, go, go,” Graham encouraged them to respond to God’s call, to return to Him if they had gone astray.
Lacey Sturm, Lecrae, John Cooper of Skillet, Aaron Gillespie of The Almost, and Josh Havens of The Afters not only made a joyful noise to the Lord, but they also did some talking. They complemented Graham’s message with their testimonies.
Helping the multitudes get the most from the concert were volunteers from 300 churches representing 45 Christian denominations. The event’s host, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, had set up special tents for them to get professional Christian counseling and get prayed for their special needs.
While Milwaukee was once considered the Beer Capital of the World, “Rock the Lakes” showed Milwaukeeans a better way to have fun. “There was no beer at the Rock the Lakes festival Saturday, but there was lots of spirit,” reported the Journal Sentinel.
Local churches were eagerly waiting for Graham’s team to arrive.
“Our church for probably the last three months has been talking about it,” the Milwaukee-based Sentinel quoted Jackie Gamez of Waukesha as saying. “My daughter’s favorite group is here – Skillet – and I’m here for Lecrae. So we’re just going to have good fellowship and have a good time talking about Jesus.”
“I came to hang out with my friends, but I really just want to see where the Lord is going to take us and what purpose this will serve,” said Thorsten Chapin, 19, of Omro.
“I can’t believe I had the opportunity to be able to be there watching and see Skillet perform, thanks Rock the Lakes for the best concert EVER!!!!” wrote one Esmeralda Medina on the event’s Facebook page.
“Rock the Lakes was a big eye opener for me!” commented Ngozi Musa. “It was amazing and very cool to see how many people went to the front to receive Jesus! God is real and alive in Milwaukee!!”
It was just half the fun over as the crowd left Veterans Park Saturday night. Charlie Daniels, Michael W. Smith and Canton Jones are set to perform on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. as Graham gives Milwaukeeans another chance to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.