Charlotte, N.C. – With four months remaining until the culmination of My Hope America with Billy Graham, the movement recently reached a milestone as more than 16,000 churches across the nation have signed up to participate.
“In a world where the main focus of many is the immediate and the material, it is truly remarkable to see so many begin to turn their eyes and hearts to the eternal,” said Preston Parrish, vice president of the My Hope America evangelistic campaign. “People across the nation are praying and preparing for My Hope America, and we are eagerly anticipating what God will do as people put feet to those prayers.”
Hundreds of preparation meetings, which began last December, have been held in all 50 states. At these meetings, pastors and lay church leaders have come together to learn more about how to maximize this nationwide evangelistic outreach in their own congregations. Meetings are still taking place across the country throughout the summer. In addition to the meetings, thousands of individuals have registered for the project and participated in the free online training.
“I knew right away I wanted to be involved in this endeavor,” said Skip Heitzig, senior pastor of Calvary of Albuquerque, after hearing Franklin Graham share the vision of My Hope America last year. “My Hope is such a natural method of sharing the Gospel and bringing people the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.”
“My Hope is going to let us know if our churches really care about lost people or if we just talk about it,” said Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist in Albany, Ga., the well-known church behind the popular movies Fireproof and Courageous.
Catt set a goal for his church to have 150 participants in the project, but more than 200 have already signed up. A church in Hagerstown, Md. – Tri-State Fellowship – saw their goal of 50 registrants doubled when one third of its congregation registered to participate in My Hope America.
“We are seeing stories like this in churches across the nation,” said Parrish. “But, the ultimate impact of My Hope America hinges on individuals identifying and praying for those people in their lives who need to know Christ.”
About My Hope America with Billy Graham
My Hope America with Billy Graham encourages participants to reach out to people they already know and engage in meaningful conversation and connections as a catalyst for sharing the hope and love found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. While one-on-one conversations will be the root of this relationship evangelism outreach, there will be special evangelistic programs available in a wide range of formats including TV, DVD and Internet that people can share to reinforce the message. The programs will feature life-changing testimonies and powerful messages from Billy Graham.
The first evangelistic program was released in March entitled Defining Moments. It features the stories of three individuals—illusionist Jim Munroe, NFL player David Tyree and musical artist Lacey Sturm—who found success in their careers yet were still searching for hope. The second program in the series – Lose to Gain – was released in June. It follows the stories of skateboarder Brian Sumner, comedian Michael Jr. and young professional Shannon Culpepper, each searching for something this world ultimately couldn’t provide.
These programs, along with additional programs under development including new footage of Billy Graham, will serve as the evangelistic thrust behind the implementation of the project in November.
For more information on My Hope America with Billy Graham, including preparation meeting dates, news articles and evangelism resources, visit www.MyHopewithBillyGraham.org.
About the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) proclaims the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world by every effective means available. From its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., the BGEA directs a wide range of domestic and international ministries, including: large-scale festivals led by evangelists Franklin Graham and Will Graham; The Billy Graham Library; The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, located outside of Asheville, N.C.; SearchforJesus.net, an Internet evangelism project reaching thousands of people for Christ online; and many others through print, television, telephone, radio and the Internet. For more information, please visit www.billygraham.org. Get news updates on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BGEAnews.