Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 29, 2014 – More than 1.6 million people have indicated making a decision for Christ through Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) outreaches in 2014. In addition, the Gospel has been shared with nearly 9.5 million individual people, in every nation in the world (with the only possible exception being North Korea, where information cannot be verified).
“Our hearts overflow with gratitude to God for all He has done and is doing, and we are eager to keep pressing forward as He continues to open doors,” wrote Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in a recent letter on BillyGraham.org.
Below are a few of the 2014 ministry highlights. A photo gallery has been posted online.
Preaching the Gospel through Festivals and Celebrations: BGEA has partnered with local churches for large-scale events across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia and seen thousands begin a new life in Christ. This year, Franklin Graham held outreaches in El Paso, Texas; Pittsburgh and Erie, Pa.; and Toronto, Canada. He also held events in Sapporo, Japan; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Warsaw, Poland. Meanwhile, Will Graham preached in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka; Fukuoka and Tokyo, Japan; Broken Hill, Australia; Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea; and Clinton, Miss. Together, live audiences totaled more than 180,000 with more than 14,700 making commitments to Christ. Tens of thousands more around the world watched the events online.
Internet Evangelism: Search For Jesus, the Internet evangelism ministry of BGEA, marked a milestone this year as it reached 5 million decisions for Christ. This ministry launched in 2011, and more than 20,000 people each day view an online presentation of the Gospel and can engage with trained counselors.
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team: From tornadoes in the Southeast to flooding in the Midwest and the landslide in the Northwest, more than 300 crisis-trained chaplains responded to 17 situations across the country in 2014. Most recently, the team responded to the community of Ferguson, Mo., following the unrest there. Together, chaplains ministered to the emotional spiritual care of more than 11,000 survivors following these tragedies. Internationally, chaplains responded to flooding in the United Kingdom, and had a longstanding presence in the Philippines following the massive devastation of Typhoon Haiyan (also called Typhoon Yolanda).
My Hope: Results continue to be received in response to showings of the new My Hope program “Heaven” in churches, homes and venues across the U.S. More than 200,000 copies of the program have been distributed and the video message has an additional 150,000 plus views on YouTube.
Simultaneously, over 12,000 churches and organizations in the United Kingdom registered to participate in My Hope UK by scheduling showings of the film “The Cross” – making it one of the largest evangelistic outreaches in recent years in the UK. Event results continue to come in as a result of the UK efforts.
Billy Graham Library: The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., – where you can trace Billy Graham’s journey of faith – welcomed more than 142,000 guests. In addition, more than 840 people who visited in 2014 committed their lives to Christ after taking the tour. The Library also held a number of special events in 2014 including book-signings with Phil and Kay Robertson, Ricky Skaggs, and Max Lucado; and the perennial holiday favorite Christmas at the Library.
Looking Forward: In 2015, BGEA is planning major evangelistic Crusades on five continents, in countries that include Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Philippines, and Tanzania, as well as in several places in the United States. Search for Jesus continues to grow and expand in its ability to reach people online. My Hope will continue in the U.S., Canada and the UK and plans are in development for additional countries.
The BGEA proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world by every effective means available. For more information, please visit www.billygraham.org. Get news updates on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BGEAnews.