Graham Tour: 60 Years Later, Crowds Once Again Overflow in Melbourne

By   •   February 16, 2019

On Saturday, Franklin Graham made his third stop on the Graham Tour at the Melbourne Arena in Australia. Six decades ago, his father Billy Graham preached right across the street at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds with the largest attendance to date in this event space. Both Grahams faced overflow crowds, but that didn't hinder numerous hearts from being transformed.
When the Melbourne Arena reached its capacity, music artist Steve Grace went to worship with those who were unable to come inside. "Although we can't be in there, let's be praying that God really uses Franklin Graham's message to connect with people," Grace said on the gorgeous summer night.
Returning to Melbourne for the first time in over a decade, Franklin shared his love for the beautiful city, which sits along the southeast coast of Australia. He also mentioned how his father loved it, too, and preached there for four weeks in 1959. Listen to sermons Billy Graham preached while in Melbourne.
Before the Planetshakers took the stage, the crowd enthusiastically waited with great anticipation. The roaring audience enjoyed the band’s set, jumping up and down in worship. Originally from Melbourne, the band shared they were believing God would do amazing things—and they were right.
In a city famous for being the sports capital of the Australia, the energetic crowd was pumped to worship the Lord.
David Crowder has been to Australia a few other times, but Saturday was his first time performing in Melbourne. “I absolutely love this city,” he said. Referring to an earlier Decision America Tour where he traveled with Franklin Graham in Texas, he commented, “People say everything is bigger in Texas … but I got to Australia and Texas seems a little small now.”
While long lines formed as more than 9,000 people gathered to attend the Graham Tour on Saturday, Franklin witnessed his father's legacy continue.
With hands raised high in surrender, this man couldn’t help but sink to his knees in worship of Almighty God.
As Steve Grace strummed an acoustic guitar and led worship, he said he prays Melbourne and the nation of Australia will realize its great need for God’s presence and experience revival.
"Are you shaking your fist at God?" Franklin asked, urging the crowd to surrender to Christ. More than 400 Aussies responded to the Gospel message on Saturday, and thousands of viewers varying from 93 countries watched the event online. Back in 1959, Billy Graham witnessed multiple people who had been resisting God come to know Christ in Melbourne, including a gang that had intentions to kill him that night.
After Franklin encouraged those who made a decision for Christ to come forward, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains stood by to hand out Bibles and help guide new believers in their faith.
Many came forward to receive healing in Christ. "Jesus Christ is not dead," Franklin said. "He’s alive and right here tonight in this arena."
Although Australia's known for being one of the happiest countries in the world, there’s a lot more to smile about when one recognizes that God loves them.
"He must increase, but I must decrease." —John 3:30
Sharing from 2 Kings 21, Franklin Graham told the crowd about Manasseh, who was just 12 years old when he became an evil king of Judah. While Franklin referred to him as one of the most hopeless people in Scripture, he shared there's hope through Christ. "If you’re willing to place your faith in Him tonight, God will forgive your sins and heal your heart," Franklin said.
With three stops down, more than 25,000 people have joined the Graham Tour so far. The next stop in Brisbane on Monday will eclipse the tour's halfway point. Please continue to pray for many Aussies to turn to Christ. >Find out more information about the Graham Tour.