Franklin Graham launches 'God Loves You Tour' in Maryland: 'We are here to give'

The Rev. Franklin Graham shares the Gospel at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata, Maryland, on Saturday, April 29, 2023 as part of his God Loves You Tidewater Tour.
The Rev. Franklin Graham shares the Gospel at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata, Maryland, on Saturday, April 29, 2023 as part of his God Loves You Tidewater Tour. | Photo provided by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Evangelist the Rev. Franklin Graham kicked off the "God Loves You Tidewater Tour" on the East Coast over the weekend, where he invited people to listen to Christian music and surrender their lives to Christ.

The CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association launched his tour on Saturday, holding the first live event at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata, Maryland. 

In addition to Graham, the tour stops will feature live performances from the contemporary Christian music band the Newsboys and musicians Marcos Witt and Dennis Agajanian. 

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Following a tour stop in La Plata, on Sunday, they traveled to Timonium and then Elkton. Other stops will include Salisbury, Maryland; Portsmouth, Virginia; and Edenton, North Carolina. 

A spokesperson for Graham told The Christian Post on Tuesday that more than 17,500 people attended the first three stops of the tour. Due to rain during Sunday’s event, 5,000 covered seats were offered to attendees at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

“I have a heart for smaller cities. It is just as important to go to these communities as it is to preach in major cities,” Graham told CP in a Tuesday statement about the tour location selections. 

Graham said he and his team have already witnessed hundreds of people respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ, noting that the Gospel has a “strong impact” in smaller places.

“We are also grateful for the strong participation and support that we receive from churches and civic leaders in cities like these,” Graham stated. “They are so excited we have come to the Tidewater Region — and we are so glad to be here.”

Graham, who also serves as the CEO of the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse, expressed gratitude for the donors who made it possible to share the Gospel and for those who have supported the tour through prayer. 

“We don’t charge people to attend these events or take up any offerings when we come — we are here to give,” he said.

Around 885 churches are working with the BGEA on the six-city tour.

In a press release provided to CP, Angel Núñez, senior pastor of Bilingual Christian Church in Baltimore and a supporter of the tour, highlighted the “hurt and pain” impacting communities in the city, citing it as proof that the area needs a “touch from God.” 

Graham told a crowd during Sunday’s event that God loves them, reminding them of how He sent His son from Heaven to absolve the world of sin.

“Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin. He took our sins to the cross,” the evangelist said in a clip provided to CP. “He shed His blood on the cross; He died on the cross. He was buried, and on the third day, God raised His son to life. And if you’re willing to accept this and believe this, God will forgive your sins tonight.” 

According to the "God Loves You Tour" website, Graham has held evangelistic outreach tours since 2017 in 63 cities across 24 states. The Christian leader has preached the Gospel to more than 440,000 people on these tours, helping over 27,000 people come to know the Lord and make the decision to give their hearts to Him.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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