4 p.m. – The bands are finishing up sound checks and all the last minute prep is underway. We’ll be back here throughout the evening with updates from Toby Mac and Group 1 Crew, as well as inspiring words from Franklin Graham. Check back often.
5:30 p.m. – We just chatted up Toby Mac back stage and he’s super excited to be here.
“It’s great man; I’m so happy that Franklin Graham is concerning himself with youth culture. That’s what I love – it’s dear to my heart and anyone who chooses to go down that road in the name of Christ – I’m there with them.”
Toby added, “It’s an honor to be here. I’ve worked with the Graham association in the past. I was always kind of wondering when I’d be invited to appear with Franklin Graham, so we are ready to rock! I look forward to hearing the message.”
6:30 p.m. – Chaos on Wheels just finished up. They did another awesome job with their amazing cycling stunt ministry, all the while sharing the Gospel in a cool way that the thousands of youth in the house could relate to.
7 p.m. – Group 1 Crew is shaking the walls! Their unique hybrid of hip-hop, rock, funk and soul has the crowd on its feet. But underlying the beat, this band conveys a serious and passionate message of hope and encouragement. Manwell, Pablo and Blanca have teamed together for one purpose: to shine the love of Christ through the power of song.
See more of Pablo’s story in this video; the rest of the blog follows.
7:30 p.m. – TOBY MAC!!! What can I say to capture the energy? This Dove-award winning artist has an unabashed passion for youth – and they know it! Right now, an impromtu dance party has broken out in front of me. The Jesus Freaks in the audience are screaming with all their hearts. Old people (like me) are loving the old DC Talk hit and are joining with their kids in bouncing up and down! On a serious note, Toby concluded by telling the audience he hopes tonight “is the beginning of something for you. Franklin Graham is a man I respect immensely and I pray God uses his message to change your life.”
8:20 p.m. – Sporting UT orange, Franklin Graham has just taken the stage to talk about the Bible’s great burnout or smoke off: the story of King Nebuchadnezzar vs. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the book of Daniel.
8: 45 p.m. – After sharing the story of the three men in the blast furnace, Graham said: “Tonight you have a choice between life and death. It will determine where you spend eternity – and it could be a whole lot hotter than any blast furnace. But Jesus Christ won the burnout. He defeated Satan and death and set you free. You can come to Christ to remove the barrier of sin. He’ll save you tonight. You aren’t coming to me. You are coming to Jesus Christ.”
Several hundred of the 13,785 people in attendance are now streaming forward to put their faith in Christ. “Will you invite Him in tonight? He’s got a whole plan laid out for you. You may never have another opportunity like this again. If you aren’t confident of your salvation, if you go to church only because it is expected, come. Come quickly. God loves you and wants to forgive you.”
– filed by Janet Chismar