More Than 35,000 Hear Good News Across the East Coast’s Tidewater Region

By TJ Petrino and Logan Ryan   •   May 7, 2023

Edenton, N.C.: Over nine days, more than 35,000 people heard the Gospel during Franklin Graham’s God Loves You Tidewater Tour. From Maryland to Virginia to the final stop in North Carolina, the core message remained the same. “If you don’t remember anything else, remember this: God loves you,” Franklin Graham said as the tour wrapped up on Sunday. More than 1,800 people embraced God’s love for them and made decisions for Christ during the tour.
Edenton, N.C.: On a sunny afternoon in the Albemarle Sound Region, over 7,600 people unfolded chairs, spread blankets, and set up umbrellas on the lawn of the American Legion Post 40 Fairgrounds. Franklin Graham shared a message from John 3 about a man named Nicodemus to whom Jesus said that you must be born again to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
Edenton, N.C.: “Tonight you can be assured of your salvation. You can go home tonight knowing that your sins are forgiven, that your soul is in the hands of Almighty God,” Franklin Graham shared. This kind of forgiveness and eternal security is definitely cause for worship. Is your soul at peace with God? It can be.
Edenton, N.C.: North Carolina's earliest European settlements were established along the shores of the Albemarle Sound. Edenton, a town of 5,000 people, sits at the head of Albemarle Sound with an extensive historic district. Though the town is small, the last stop on the Tidewater Tour was the second largest in attendance with many coming from surrounding coastal areas.
Edenton, N.C.: More than 650 volunteers in Edenton and nearby areas helped spread the word about the Tidewater Tour and invited others to come. By the end of the evening, over 320 people shared that they wanted to commit their lives to Jesus Christ.
Edenton, N.C.: Newsboys and Marcos Witt led the audience in lifting God’s Name up high at every tour stop. In Edenton, they brought the crowd to their feet singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”
Portsmouth, Va.: Following four stops in Maryland, more than 3,400 people came to Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion Saturday in the Hampton Roads Region for the fifth stop of Franklin Graham’s God Loves You Tidewater Tour.
Portsmouth, Va.: Founded in 1752, Portsmouth is rich in American history, with its busy harbor serving as a major hub of the Underground Railroad in the 1800s. It's also home to the oldest U.S. Navy shipyard in the country, dating back to 1767.
Portsmouth, Va.: Franklin Graham and local believers boldly proclaimed the name of Jesus as the source of peace, forgiveness, and hope. Ahead of the evangelistic outreach, more than 500 people in the Portsmouth area received Christian Life and Witness (CLWC) training offered by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Through CLWC, they learned how to grow in their faith and effectively share the Gospel with others.
Portsmouth, Va.: “God is offering salvation, but you have to be willing to accept it, to believe in it,” Franklin Graham told the crowd. At this stop, more than 150 people decided to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Trained prayer counselors were available to pray with them, help connect them to a local church, and pass on Living in Christ materials that explain how to follow Christ daily.
Portsmouth, Va.: A group circles for prayer in the historic seaport city against the beautiful backdrop of the Elizabeth River.
Portsmouth, Va.: Please keep Hampton Road’s new Christ followers in your prayers as they live out their faith and pursue Him each day.
Salisbury, Md.: Over 6,800 people came out for the fourth of six stops on the God Loves You Tidewater Tour with Franklin Graham in Salisbury, Md.
Salisbury, Md.: The tour stop in Salisbury coincided with the National Day of Prayer. Believers in the area have been praying for months for this outreach, and by the end of the night, more than 400 people shared their decision to turn from their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Salisbury, Md.: In a world where bad news overwhelms headlines and news feeds, the Tidewater Tour has been a reminder that there is still hope in Jesus Christ, who loves and cares for us. "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" —Psalm 150:6, ESV
Salisbury, Md.: Franklin Graham shared Good News from the Bible, including these words from Romans 6:23 (ESV): “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Are you sure of eternal life with Christ, who alone defeated sin and death?
Salisbury, Md.: Salisbury sits at the head of the Wicomico River, just south of the Delaware state line. It's also home to Salisbury University. Many brought the whole family for this outreach, with people of all ages filling lawn chairs and blankets in front of TidalHealth Stage on this sunny evening.
Salisbury, Md.: Dennis Agajanian encouraged the crowd to join in as he played the guitar. During "God Bless America" and "Amazing Grace," thousands of voices rose into the air as the audience sang along.
Elkton, Md.: On Tuesday night, more than 9,200 people came to Fair Hill Fairgrounds in Elkton, Md., for the third stop and halfway mark of Franklin Graham’s God Loves You Tidewater Tour.
Elkton, Md.: With hoods up and hats on, people climbed into a tractor-pulled trailer serving as a shuttle to the event on this chilly evening.
Elkton, Md.: Please pray for God to give people courage to share their faith in these cities so that more may come to know Jesus Christ.
Elkton, Md.: By the end of the evening, more than 340 people had decided to follow Jesus Christ. You, too, can know Jesus personally.
Elkton, Md.: Michael Tait of Newsboys got the crowd on their feet to worship God.
Elkton, Md.: These three figured out how to stay warm in Elkton, a town located right at the Delaware border.
Elkton, Md.: Some cities along the Tidewater Tour have large Spanish-speaking populations. Latin Grammy Award-winner Marcos Witt shared songs in both English and Spanish.
Timonium, Md.: More than 3,900 people attended the second stop of Franklin Graham’s God Loves You Tidewater Tour in Timonium, Md., just north of Baltimore.
Timonium, Md.: Despite constant rain, people came to the Maryland State Fairgrounds to hear Good News from Franklin Graham. Many brought loved ones who need to know about the real, lasting hope found in Jesus Christ.
Timonium, Md.: "There are some here tonight who have this emptiness and restlessness in their souls," Franklin Graham said, looking into the stands. "Something is missing—it's God. ... God loves you, and He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, from Heaven to Earth, not to condemn you, but to save you."
Timonium, Md.: "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." —Deuteronomy 6:6–7
Timonium, Md.: A woman followed along with Franklin Graham’s message from Mark 10:17–31. The evangelist told of a rich young man who learned that the most important thing to Jesus Christ is to follow Him wholeheartedly.
Timonium, Md.: Ron (left) participated in a Billy Graham Crusade in 1981, and on Sunday, he spent his 69th birthday serving as a prayer counselor on the Tidewater Tour. Watch as Ron explains what prompted him to volunteer in this short clip.
Timonium, Md.: The fairgrounds typically host agricultural events, concerts, and other shows, but on April 30, people heard a message that could change the trajectory of their lives.
La Plata, Md.: The God Loves You Tidewater Tour with Franklin Graham kicked off in La Plata, Md., as more than 4,400 heard the Gospel and many surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ.
La Plata, Md.: Under a beautiful night sky, Franklin Graham talked about how culture and the world are quickly changing—but how one thing never will. "God's Word is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever," he said. "His Word doesn’t change. The Bible is God’s Word cover to cover. Every word of this is true."
La Plata, Md.: The crowd at Charles County Fairgrounds were on their feet as Newsboys' Michael Tait and Latin artist Marcos Witt led the crowd in worship with an English/Spanish version of “The Revelation Song.”
La Plata, Md.: A prayer team member hugs a woman who responded to Franklin Graham's invitation to receive Christ. More than 150 trained volunteers talked and prayed with those who made spiritual decisions.
La Plata, Md.: For the last seven years, Franklin Graham has held evangelistic tour events across the United States. From sunny California to the coastlines of Florida, more than 440,000 people heard the hope of the Gospel and over 27,000 made decisions for Jesus Christ.
La Plata, Md.: These evangelism events wouldn’t be possible without faithful volunteers like these who handed out free tour T-shirts. Before the Southern Potomac River Region event, altogether more than 550 people volunteered their time to tell people about the event and invite them to come.
La Plata, Md.: Guitarist and vocalist Dennis Agajanian kicked off Saturday's worship with songs such as "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus." When he led the crowd in “God Bless America,” they enthusiastically sang along.
La Plata, Md.: Gospel events like the Tidewater Tour are reaching future generations for Jesus Christ. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to continue moving in each city.