Thousands in ‘Post-Christian’ Portland Attend Christ-Centered Tour

By TJ Petrino and Paul Sherar   •   May 20, 2019

More than 4,000 people from across New England came to Portland, Maine, for the first stop of Franklin Graham's Decision America Northeast Tour on Sunday, May 19.
Signs all over the Portland region invited people to the first of seven prayer and evangelism events across New England and New York through May 30. See the full schedule.
Coastal Maine is known for picturesque views, lobsters and lighthouses. Portland is also known as the most "post-Christian" city in America, according to a recent Barna study. The study found that about 57 percent of the population rejects Christianity's key beliefs and practices.
The Decision America Tour started in 2016, when Franklin Graham traveled to all 50 state capitals, urging Christians to pray, vote and engage in the political process. He also shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ, giving people a chance to invite the Lord into their lives.
Thirty-seven years ago, Franklin's father, Billy Graham, shared the Gospel in the same place. Some of the people in attendance on Sunday night remembered hearing the late evangelist in 1982.
Many families came out to hear the message. Some were bundled up as the sun set and temperatures dropped into the low 50s.
Dennis Agajanian has been using his musical talent for Christ for many decades, sharing stages around the world with both Billy Graham and Franklin Graham. "Jesus Christ is a greater Savior than we are sinners," Dennis told the crowd on Sunday. "He loves you."
The city of Portland is the largest in Maine, with a population of around 70,000. It's located on the Casco Bay and is recognized for its working fishing wharves and walkable downtown waterfront.
David Crowder has traveled all over the world with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He and his band had the crowd in Portland on their feet throughout the night.
There was a joyful atmosphere at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds as thousands of people came together to worship God and celebrate the Good News of Jesus Christ.
There were also serious moments as Franklin shared from the book of Luke, chapter 17, where Jesus spoke about the destruction of the ancient city of Sodom.
These are Jesus' words from Luke 17:26-30: "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
Franklin didn't mince words when he spoke about God's impending judgment of the earth. But he was just as clear about the Good News of Jesus Christ—that He loves the world and is ready to forgive the sins of anyone who will turn to Him as Lord and Savior.
Just like his father, Franklin gave an invitation for people to publicly accept Jesus Christ. Dozens stood up from their chairs to indicate making a decision for Christ.
David Crowder closed out the night with a celebratory song after many people prayed to ask God to forgive their sins and give them a fresh start.
There was rain in the forecast, but it held off until just after Franklin gave the invitation to accept Christ. People tried to keep warm under coats and blankets as the sun set and temperatures dropped.
Those who indicated making a decision for Christ had the chance to speak with a trained Decision America Tour volunteer and to receive a booklet to help them grow in their walk with God. Local churches are now tasked with following up and inviting new believers into their congregations.
As David Crowder played, fireworks lit up the sky. The next stop on the Decision America Northeast Tour is Burlington, Vermont. Watch the next event live, or check out the full tour schedule. And don't forget to join believers in the Northeast in praying for a powerful move of God to sweep across the region.