Sunday, June 2, 2013

Franklin Graham may stage 2015 event in CLT

Billy Graham held four crusades in his hometown of Charlotte. But son Franklin Graham, who calls his stadium-sized gatherings festivals, has yet to have one in the Queen City.

That could change in 2015.

The younger Graham and his people are in "preliminary discussions" with churches and others about the possibility of staging a festival in Charlotte, confirmed Ken Barun, chief of staff at Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

Several Charlotte churches have been holding team meetings about the possibility of a Graham festival here. Barun said the talks are in the exploratory phase now, to "see the level of interest."

Franklin Graham, who heads the BGEA, has two overseas festivals scheduled for later this year: in Reykjavik, Iceland, Sept. 28-29; and in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Nov. 22-24.

In March of this year, Graham held a festival in La Paz, Bolivia.

Since 2009, he's also preached in several U.S. cities, including Buffalo, Green Bay, Denver, Milwaukee and Los Angeles.

Billy Graham held crusades in Charlotte in 1947, 1958, 1972 and 1996. That last one drew 336,100 people over four nights to what was then called Ericsson Stadium (now Bank of America Stadium).

Will Graham, Billy's grandson and Franklin's oldest son, is also a sometimes-traveling evangelist. His crusade-like events are called celebrations. And he tends to stage them in smaller U.S. cities, like Gastonia; Auburn, Ala; and Paducah, Ky. This year, he'll also preach abroad, in Kenya, Japan and Thailand.

-- Tim Funk


Anonymous said...

Tim, you posted numbers for the last Billy Graham crusade here in Charlotte - maybe post a few numbers for the attendance at a few of Franklin's "festivals" the past several years. That would be "illuminating" to people.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news. That would be great.

Anonymous said...

Jim Baker - where are you when we need you???????

Anonymous said...

I expect Baker is somewhere taking someone's money.

Anonymous said...

Franklin Graham should be ashamed of himself- to even try to follow in his father's footsteps- I assume this festival would be full of the same hate, prejudice, and judgemental comments he has made in the press of late- He has placed himself above any greater power by passing judgement on all who are not exactly as he is-- sad for him and for the BGEA

Dan said...

I hope this is accurate. I can't wait to hear him. He possesses a relevance and clarity that confronts complacency, sin and self-centered living. He is a courageous voice like few in this generation. The hate-mongers don't have to go hear him speak...they couldn't take it if they did. They might actually hear something that challenged their thinking and made the realize that they aren't the center of the universe. It's always amazing that the anti-religious are so afraid to listen to the messages of faith leaders, yet we regular listen and engage those who don't believe with respect and substance. Just because you disagree doesn't mean you've got to shut someone else up or mock them. But why should a non-believer have compassion or kindness in the first place? If this is all there is and nothing else exists beyond death, then go for it -- hate, kill, steal, indulge and don't give a rip what anyone else thinks. It's the only honest way to live if you don't believe there is a God or that he's some pawn that always agrees with what you've decided already.

Anonymous said...

Really nice points Dan. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dan: Such a point you make - "If this is all there is and nothing else exists beyond death, then go for it."

Some people would ask the same - almost EXACT - question of Franklin Graham for his pursuit of wealth; wealth that he earns "in the name of God." If he's not the center of his own universe, why his continual pursuit of this world's "mammon" all in the name of "ministry?" Sorry, your points just don't wash.

Anonymous said...

Great the christian taliban is coming to town. Dan if you were familiar with history you would know that when it comes to "hating, killing, stealing, war and indulgence the christians have been leading the pact since the crusades.

Anonymous said...

During the 2004 presidential election, I got a letter from Franklin Graham where he urged me to disregard all other issues, both those of war or the economy, and for me to vote Republican. He stated that blocking gay marriage rights (which he referred to as "protecting marriage" or something like that) was more important than everything else.

Think about that for a second.

Regardless of your opinion about gay marriage or how you feel about any specific military action, how can anyone for even a second feel like gay marriage is a bigger issue than a war? People die, get maimed, or have long-lasting emotional trauma because of a war.

And when the economy is bad, children might be going to bed hungry or families could lose their homes.

Why is this man so obsessed about gay marriage?

Besides, even if you believe homosexuality is a sin, voting down gay marriage does not decrease the number of gay people in the world. It merely makes their lives more difficult, which is not a very Christian sentiment.

I also do not feel like a political action group should be masquerading as a religious organization. It is misleading.

Anonymous said...

Yawn....I'd rather watch pigs poop than a false so called preacher.

stop2wonder said...


First you accuse nonbelievers of being afraid to hear the other side of the argument.

Then you accuse non-believers of hate mongering, mockery, and trying to shut people up.

But then in the every next sentence you question even our ability for compassion and kindness; followed by totally misrepresenting what we believe in by telling us that just because we don't believe in what you do that we should go on some violent rampage.

Maybe it's you who need to be more civil, open minded, and respectful of what other people believe and why they believe it.

One last thing. I believe in being good and doing good because it's the right thing to do. But if you actually think the only thing that is keeping you from "going for it - hate, kill, steal, indulge" is because big brother is watching, then what kind of person are you?

Anonymous said...

Dan, you seem to have a really warped theology. Would you really kill, rape, and pillage if you did not think there was an eye in the sky to punish you in an afterlife? There are not many atheists arrested for those things, in comparison to large percentage of criminals who believe in a god or gods.