Throughout his extensive ministry, Billy Graham preached often in Texas. Hundreds of thousands filled huge stadiums across the Lone Star State, from Dallas to Houston to Lubbock to San Antonio.
Though Mr. Graham held his last Texas Crusade in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex in 2002, his evangelistic outreach is still reaching people with the Good News. That’s through the ministry of My Hope With Billy Graham, a nationwide evangelistic outreach kicking off this year on Mr. Graham’s 96th birthday, Nov. 7.
It’s not just the big cities that are feeling the power of the Gospel through My Hope. Mr. Graham is reaching people for Christ in small towns like Whitesboro, a community of about 3,700 people 70 miles north of Dallas.
During the past two Novembers and at Easter in between, the North Hills Baptist Church in Whitesboro participated in My Hope. The latest took place this past weekend.
North Hills Baptist is one of more than 800 churches in Texas participating this year in My Hope.
“This small but energetic church, led by its pastor, is excited about taking the responsibility to share their faith and loving their neighbors,” said Adam Morgan, state coordinator for the My Hope project.
Watch the official trailer for Heaven, a new message from Billy Graham.
“I’m glad that churches across Texas are joining other congregations throughout America to partner with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to proclaim the Gospel,” Morgan added.
Tim Robinson, pastor at North Hills Baptist for nearly two years, said Jesus mandated to the church to do both mass evangelism and personal evangelism—to cast the net wide and to also catch fish one at a time.
“My Hope focuses on both methods of evangelism,” Robinson said. “And God used this incredible outreach in 2013 and again this year to propel our church forward and energize our members to have a passion to live out the Great Commandment and fulfill the Great Commission.”
Prior to My Hope events, the church saturated the market with direct mail flyers promoting Mr. Graham’s messages. It took out ads and disseminated press releases that attracted extensive newspaper and television coverage, more than it’s ever received. And during its annual “Candy Land Fall Festival” as a community alternative to Halloween, North Hills Baptist invited the hundreds of guests to come back and see the My Hope films.
More than 200 first-time visitors attended the November 2013 and Easter 2014 showings of The Cross—during which seven people made spiritual decisions for Jesus Christ.
The Nov. 1 opening of deer hunting season unfortunately cut into attendance this year. But of the 185 people who watched the Heaven program during three services Saturday and Sunday, the vast majority were still guests, with two people rededicating their lives to Christ.
One was an older woman who approached Pastor Robinson after coming forward during the invitation. “Heaven is getting closer for me, and I need to get ready so I can finish well,” she told him.
“I praise God we were able to do mass evangelism and cast the net wide in 2013 and 2014,” Robinson said. “But maybe what excited me even more is how this year we saw a lot of personal evangelism going on. Believers reached out to tell their family and friends about Jesus and brought them to hear the Gospel.”
After viewing the Heaven program on Sunday morning, Katee felt compelled to bring her fiancé, John, to the evening showing, as well as a longtime elderly friend, Rodney. “It was very moving for me, and I wanted them to hear that message of hope,” Katee said.
Sharon Nelson, who serves as church secretary, said: “For so many, this was the opportunity of a lifetime to hear about Jesus. We’re thankful for all God has done.”
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