Dr. Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, has said that Billy Graham's message in "My Hope" can be used to help address the spiritual well-being of the Windy City, which has now become the murder capital of America.
"There is a tremendous amount of violence in Chicago, and much of it is gang related. There is also a rootlessness of the children living in the context of torn relationships, which gives birth to much of this violence," Lutzer said. "So, many people in this city are desperate for a spiritual solution."
According to official 2012 statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in September, Chicago had more reported murders than any other U.S. city, with 500 homicides – 81 more than second-placed New York City. The report followed numerous news stories of excessive violence that have come out of Chicago in the past couple of years, including a particularly violent Fourth of July weekend where 12 people were shot dead and at least 60 others were wounded. more >>
Hundreds made life-changing decisions for Christ as Franklin Graham and his son Will Graham presented the Gospel to people in two unlikely places in two separate continents on Saturday, as part of an outreach of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which continues Sunday.
The father and son are in Iceland and Japan, which are more than 5,000 miles apart on separate continents. Franklin Graham shared the Good News at the Festival of Hope, or Hátíð Vonar, in Reykjavik on Saturday, while Will Graham spoke at the Celebration of Hope in Fukushima.
The Laugardalshöll arena in Reykjavik was packed with people, according to the BGEA. More than 40 churches participated in the BGEA's first outreach to Iceland in its 60-plus-year history. more >>
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will soon release a personal video message from Graham that will be included in the new program called "The Cross" as part of the My Hope America campaign. The nationwide crusade slated to culminate in November has nearly 22,000 registered churches reaching out to their network of relationships in order to spread the Gospel.
Graham's new message, which will be available on DVD to participating churches and individuals, then broadcast on television and online in early November, is based on the same sermon themes he has preached for decades about God's love and the meaning of the cross. In addition, "The Cross" features the testimony of Christian rapper Lecrae and Lacey Sturm, the former lead singer of the band, Flyleaf.
"Woven within Graham's message are the faith stories of two popular musicians, rapper Lecrae Moore who overcame addiction and the pull of the gang lifestyle to see his life changed by an encounter with Jesus and former Flyleaf lead singer Lacey Sturm who fought depression, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts only to be rescued by the love of a Heavenly Father and the hope that comes through a relationship with His Son," Preston Parrish, vice president of My Hope America with Billy Graham, told the Christian Post. more >>
Renowned evangelist Billy Graham is asking Iran's president Hassan Rouhani for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison, pointing out that such an action might be perceived by U.S. leaders as a significant step in reducing tensions.
"On September 26, the one-year anniversary of Pastor Abedini's imprisonment, thousands will attend prayer vigils in more than 70 U.S. cities, calling on your country to release this husband, father and servant of God," Graham writes in a letter addressed to Rouhani and published on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. "I join them by respectfully asking you to release Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison. Such an action would, I believe, have a positive impact in our nation, and might well be perceived by our leadership as a significant step in reducing tensions."
Abedini has been in Evin Prison in Tehran since his arrest last year, and was later sentenced to eight years in jail, supposedly for endangering national security. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) recently launched the largest campaign in its history aimed at sending thousands of letters each week to Rouhani, petitioning for the U.S. pastor. The ACLJ, which represents his wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children in the U.S., says that Iran has targeted the pastor for his Christian faith. more >>
As many as three million people have decided to follow Jesus Christ thanks to the Internet ministry website SearchForJesus.net, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) reported in a press release on Thursday.
"Historically, we have spread the hope of Jesus Christ to millions through citywide stadium events, and that continues to be a very effective platform. Nothing can replace that," said John Cass, BGEA's Director of Internet Evangelism.
"However, as people – not just in the U.S. but around the world – become increasingly digital, it only makes sense to adapt along with the technology. We've seen a remarkable response by meeting people where they are, at points in their life when they need the Gospel the most." more >>
Several faith-based relief effort crews from the Salvation Army, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team and Convoy of Hope, a relief organization, have been dispatched to aid victims in several flood-stricken areas of Colorado, after torrential rains inundated a vast majority of the state nearly a week ago.
At least eight people have been killed by deadly flooding that swamped 17 counties, while over 500 continue to be unaccounted for, which state officials say could be an issue of "book-keeping and cross-referencing," according to ABC News. In addition, thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes while nearly an estimated 18,000 houses have been damaged.
Salvation Army response units have been in Colorado for days now and have provided over 10,000 meals to residents while they continue to establish short and long-term evacuation shelters that will remain open for the next 30 to 90 days. more >>