Franklin Graham Urges Springfield to Come to Christ: ‘He’s Waiting for You’

By   •   September 24, 2021

Ozark Empire Fairgrounds
On a brisk Thursday evening in Springfield, Missouri, an estimated 8,900 people came to the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds to enjoy live music, a Gospel message and the gift of being together. As the sun dipped below the horizon and the event began, people packed into the large, outdoor venue.
Franklin Graham preaching
Springfield is the third city in a lineup of eight stops on Franklin Graham’s Route 66 God Loves You Tour. Earlier this week, the evangelist stopped in another Missouri city: St. Louis.
woman singing
One local store owner explained how large events, like the God Loves You Tour, have become even more meaningful after months of quarantines and cancelations. At the fairgrounds on Thursday, many people ran into old friends and worshiped God alongside fellow believers.
Dennis Agajanian
“Jesus Christ is a greater than you are a sinner,” guitarist Dennis Agajanian said before leading a rendition of “Ain’t No Grave” featuring only his acoustic guitar and an accompanying bass.
man singing
From the front row of seats to the back of the high-rise bleachers, people sang along jubilantly.
students at God Loves You Tour bus
With more than 10 colleges in Springfield—including Missouri State University, Drury University and Evangel University—groups of students brought a youthful energy to the crowd.
Franklin Graham preaching to crowd
Thursday was Franklin Graham’s first visit to Springfield. He started off his message mentioning various Christian colleges in the area, after which he shared a bit of his own testimony and urged students to make a personal decision for Christ.
man and woman sitting together
The evangelist retold the story of the Prodigal Son, which is found in Luke 15. “This is a picture of our Father in Heaven. He’s waiting for you. He’s watching for you tonight,” said Franklin Graham.
Route 66 storefront
Springfield is recognized as the birthplace of Route 66, since officials first proposed the name for the historic highway in this city. Today, remnants of the highway’s glory days sit right next to modern restaurants and stores.
The Ozarks—a mountainous region that extends across Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas—is sometimes called, “The Land of a Million Smiles.” Springfield is known as the "Queen City of the Ozarks," and the friendly residents live up to that nickname.
Michael Tait singing
Michael Tait, who sang at Billy Graham Crusades with his previous band DC Talk, is now touring Route 66 with Franklin Graham and his current band, Newsboys.
Marcos Witt on stage
Also on the Gospel-focused tour is Marcos Witt. “I usually sing to Latino and Spanish-speaking crowds,” said the musician, who grew up as a missionary kid in Mexico. In Missouri, he led worship songs in both Spanish and English.
little girl dancing
Even the youngest in the audience participated in lifting a joyful noise to the Lord.
Franklin Graham preaching
“Are you sure your sins are forgiven?” That’s the question Franklin Graham posed to those listening. He explained that you can be sure, by accepting Christ’s free gift of salvation.
man with praying hands
At the end of the night, people stood across the expansive venue to express their desire to be forgiven by Christ.
woman counseling little girl
After the prayer of salvation, trained counselors approached those standing to talk about their decision and provide materials to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus. In the days ahead, local churches will connect with these believers.
man crying
It was an emotional moment as hundreds decided to come home to their heavenly Father. Please ask God to surround each one with a community that encourages them to keep growing in the faith.
God Loves You Tour billboard
Next stop: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. If you live along Route 66, join us at an upcoming stop on the God Loves You Tour.