When Brian “Head” Welch played guitar for the heavy metal band Korn, methamphetamines ruled his life completely. “I was so addicted that I started losing my mind,” he explained on a video that was broadcast between musical guests Saturday at Rock the Lakes in Rochester.
Welch tried desperately to quit meth, but nothing helped: “I wanted to die. No one knew what I was going through. I’d even sit in church tweaking.”
But one day it clicked. Welch was completely overwhelmed with so much of his heavenly Father’s love that he threw away all his drugs and walked away from Korn.
“Head’s video was the coolest thing tonight,” said 18-year-old Justin. “I can go online to show it to my brother later.”
Justin was disappointed that his younger brother Micah, who attends the Rochester School of the Arts, declined to come with him to Rock the Lakes. He had been praying and hoping Micah would show up.
“He always makes fun of my faith and thinks all Christians are losers,” said Justin. “Welch is cool though. And Micah denies it but he is addicted to Oxytocin.”
Hearing how a “cool” guy overcame drug addiction might be the thing that softens Micah’s heart. “I think he’ll at least check out that video and all the rockin’ notes on Ransom.tv,” Justin said. “And maybe he’ll come with me tomorrow.”
Rock the Lakes, a two-day music Festival at Rochester’s Sahlen’s stadium, featured several Gospel messages from Franklin Graham along with stellar performances by artists Trip Lee, Lacey Sturm, The Almost, Flame and the Newsboys.
The Tommy Coomes Band closed the night with an extended worship set.
More than 10,000 people of all ages poured into the home of the Rochester Rhinos soccer team, located not far from the shore of Lake Ontario. Striking a positive note with the hometown crowd, Franklin Graham donned a Rhinos soccer jersey during his first message.
Using Biblical references to the Prodigal Son and Zacchaeus, Graham explained how much God loves each person, but how sin keeps people from God. He told the crowd that a relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to overcome sin and attain eternal life.
Rock the Lakes continues Sunday at Sahlen’s Stadium and online at RockTheLakesLive.com at 4 p.m. ET with performances by Michael W Smith, the Newsboys, Canton Jones, Lacey Sturm and L’Angelus.
Franklin Graham will share more life-saving messages of the love and grace of Jesus Christ throughout the night.
“She’s Just Like Me”
It was Lacey Sturm’s passionate testimony that got to Jasmine: “The singer talked about hating God at one time in her life—just like me—and she was afraid of men,” the 16-year old told the woman who prayed with her.
This evening Jasmine took the courageous step of accepting Christ as her Savior.
“It was weird how much we had in common,” said Jasmine of Lacey. “She prayed to Jesus when she was 16 too.”
Haltingly, with tears streaming down her face, Jasmine told her counselor how she had been sexually abused by her uncle for several years while her mom was oblivious to anything going on around her due to a severe crack addiction.
“I thought about killing myself, like Lacey told us. I don’t think I would have walked up here without Lacey,” she added. “I know I’m not alone anymore.”
Carol, the 48-year-old who counseled Jasmine, couldn’t believe she had the opportunity to play such an important part in someone’s life: “I am so shy,” she admitted. “Only God could give me the courage to do this.
“I was afraid to share my faith until tonight,” Carol said, glowing.
Although she’s just 11, Elizabeth remembers the first time she heard the Newsboys. “My dad used to play their songs for me when I was 5 and my mom died. He held me and we used to cry together.”
And while the stage lineup was different six years ago, the songs she loves are still sung at Newsboys concerts. That is why she was one of the first people through the gate at Sahlen’s Stadium in downtown Rochester.
“I brought dad here as an early Father’s Day gift,” Elizabeth said just moments ago.
Laurie and John came out “just to praise the Lord” today. But they, too, are excited to hear the Newsboys.
And Marlene and Michelle came to hear Franklin Graham preach. “I accepted Christ in 1988 at the Billy Graham Rochester Crusade,” said Marlene. “I know that some people here are already Christians, but people like me—well, I just went through the motions of church. It wasn’t real until I prayed that prayer.
“Of course, some are completely lost and we are praying for them,” Marlene added.
People of all ages are filling the field and bleachers under the bright Rochester sun. We will bring you highlights throughout the evening as Trip Lee, Lacey Sturm, Flame, The Almost, and the Newsboys take the stage.