Franklin Graham’s Tar Heel State Tour Wraps Up in Asheville, NC

By TJ Petrino and Paul Sherar   •   October 13, 2019

"It's good to be home," Franklin Graham said, stepping up to the mic with a big smile on his face. Graham grew up in North Carolina and now lives in Boone, less than a two-hour drive from Asheville.
From October 1-13, Franklin Graham traveled across his home state, visiting Fayetteville, Greenville, Wilmington, Raleigh, Greensboro, Hickory and Charlotte, before reaching his final destination in Asheville. Read stories and see photos from previous tour stops.
More than 5,300 people found a seat in the U.S. Cellular Center to hear from Franklin Graham and gave him a standing ovation when he walked onstage. The Asheville stop was the only one held indoors, which was good with a threat of rain in the forecast.
In less than two weeks, more than 65,000 people took part in the eight-city Tar Heel State Tour, filling fairgrounds, parks and stadiums to hear Good News in a time when our TVs, radios and social media feeds are full of discouraging news. Tens of thousands more watched the tour around the world via livestream. Many were invited to the events through a simple North Carolina-shaped invitation like this one.
Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a city of color, creativity, music, art and plenty of eclectic cafes to choose from.
North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, along with his wife, were in the crowd Sunday for the eighth and final stop on the Decision America Tar Heel State Tour. A signature of every Decision America stop is a short time of prayer over our country, including prayers for unity across political platforms.
More than 4,800 people responded to the Gospel by inviting Christ into their lives throughout the Tar Heel State Tour, from a Raleigh couple in their mid-80s to a 5-year-old boy in Greenville. They responded in person, via livestream or text.
"Pain is universal," said Jeremy Camp, who's traveled to dozens of countries as a Christian artist. While pain is a part of life, it is possible to have deep joy in the middle of turmoil. That's through knowing Jesus Christ, he said.
Franklin Graham and his family pray ahead of the event for souls to be saved. Each time Franklin Graham invites people to respond to the Gospel, he pauses and quietly stands at the podium as others come forward or stand where they are in response. Sunday, he took an extra pause, giving the crowd a few more moments: "Anyone else?" he said as a handful more stood to their feet. "Amen," Franklin Graham said. It's not too late for you. If you're feeling the pull of God on your heart, take the first step now from wherever you are.
"There are many of you who are religious, but you don't have that relationship with God," Franklin Graham said. Is that your story, too? Going to church in your Sunday best, only to feel empty when you walk out the door? Read through these steps to peace and watch a few short videos about having a living relationship with God.
Outside the arena Sunday were about 20 protesters, many showing support for the LGBTQ community. Franklin Graham took a moment to address any in the venue who may be LGBTQ: "I'm not judging you. I'm here telling you in love: God loves you." He also stressed the importance of repenting from things in our lives that go against God, including His definition of relationships and marriage. "All of us are guilty of sin," Franklin Graham said, a point he makes every time he shares the Gospel at an evangelistic event. No one is excluded from being a sinner (Romans 3:23), but those who seek Christ can be forgiven of that sin and start fresh.
"Have you ever wished you could start over and know what you know now?" Franklin Graham began his message. He reflected on being a troublemaker in school and how he wishes he would have paid closer attention. Now that he's older, he said, he knows the stakes are even higher. He knows how dangerous it is not to pay attention to God's prompting in our lives.
The Decision America Tour heads next to Florida in January. Learn more and get involved now.