Will Graham Joins Leaders in CO, AZ to Launch Outreach Events

By   •   March 21, 2024

Pastors and church leaders joined Will Graham to launch the Northern Colorado Look Up Celebration in Loveland, Colorado, which will take place this coming October.

From snow-covered roads and mountain peaks to towering cacti and clear blue skies, you couldn’t get much more different than Loveland, Colorado, and Fountain Hills, Arizona. But over the past week, teams from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association visited both communities to launch upcoming evangelistic outreaches.

Both announcements were made during daylong Lift Up Church Encouragement Conferences, intended to strengthen the church and encourage pastors in their calling. Combined, the events in Loveland and Fountain Hills were attended by more than 200 leaders representing over 50 churches across the two regions.

Aaron Shust helped lead attendees in worship at the Lift Up Church Encouragement Conference in Fountain Hill, Arizona.

Christian recording artists Aaron Shust and Brooke Nicholls led worship, and speakers encouraged the leaders in their calling, stressed the importance of evangelism, and laid the groundwork for the upcoming Look Up Celebrations in each region.

Into the Storm

In Northern Colorado, the weather reports were predicting anywhere from 12 to 40 inches of snow two days before the Lift Up Church Encouragement Conference was set to begin—creating uncertainty for turnout.

But just as Christ brings peace to a troubled heart, the physical storm that engulfed Northern Colorado calmed just in time for the roads to open and the conference to begin.

“Colorado has been a region of spiritual conflict. But where there is much darkness, the light will shine brighter,” said Associate Pastor Matthew Spencer of Christ Church International in Longmont, Colorado.

“It is a tough place. The state in general—there’s a lot of anti-Christian views,” agreed Pastor Donnie Bennett of New Creation Church, also in Longmont. “That’s what made us come together. We believe that if we’re united, we have more strength.”

Both pastors have been integral in laying the groundwork for the Northern Colorado Look Up Celebration. The event will take place Oct. 5–6, 2024, at Blue Arena in Loveland.

“We anticipate that many people will come to Christ through this outreach and the church will be bolstered and greatly encouraged,” said Pastor Spencer.

“I think it’s just going to change the atmosphere of this region,” Pastor Bennett shared.

‘Churched, and Yet Unchurched’

Some 800 miles southwest of Loveland, Colorado, sits Fountain Hills, Arizona, a gorgeous community with vista views of impressive desert rock formations and cacti. It’s known for the fourth largest fountain in the world, which sprays 560 feet into the air.

While many would consider living here a dream come true, the reality is that the spiritual climate is as dry as the arid desert terrain.

“It’s tough ground. When you talk to other pastors … they’ll say this is the toughest ground they’ve ever dealt with,” said Pastor Bobby Brewer of The Chapel at Reigning Grace Ranch. His congregation is a Cowboy church in neighboring Rio Verde, 10 miles outside Fountain Hills. Referring to the entire region, he said, “I would describe it as a spiritual disinterest: ‘Hey, we’re good.’”

“There are maybe 23, 24 churches here in Fountain Hills, but it’s unchurched. Only about 8% of people in Fountain Hills consider themselves Christian and go to church. Interestingly, the ones who did go to church,” he shared, “generally they only went 12 times a year and consider themselves a regular attender. It’s a really interesting dynamic and so you could say it’s churched and yet it’s unchurched.”

The parched land is ready for the “fountain of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14).” Pastors from Fountain Hills and throughout the Phoenix area were excited for the announcement of the Will Graham Look Up Celebration at The Fountain, which will take place March 22, 2025, at Fountain Park (an outdoor venue right next to the historic fountain).

“I truly believe that the Holy Spirit can enter into a community like this and transform it,” said Pastor John Koczman of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fountain Hills. “I think it is incumbent upon us as pastors and members of this community to say that we truly believe that God can do miracles here and work a great thing.”

How will the Lord move when this event takes place one year from now?

Prayer is a big part of preparing for both Look Up Celebrations, happening over the next 12 months.

“Some of us have been praying for something like this for years,” Koczman said. “We’ll be praying, and honestly I believe 10-15-20 years from now, people will be looking back at this event that took place in 2025.”

Preparing the Way Through Prayer

Though the evangelistic outreaches in Colorado and Arizona are many months out, the work is already under way. The churches in these two regions are actively committed to praying, laying the spiritual foundation for the proclamation of the Gospel.

The beautiful thing about prayer, of course, is that it knows no geographic bounds. Regardless of where you are today, you can be a very real part of the Northern Colorado Look Up Celebration and the Look Up Celebration at The Fountain.

Will you commit to praying alongside the believers here? Eternity is at stake.