Franklin Graham wrapped up his God Loves You Tour in Edenton, North Carolina in May 7 where more than 35,000 heard the best and the most meaningful message they’ll ever hear: God loves you.
During the six-city evangelistic tour, more than 35,000 people heard the Gospel, and over 18,000 indicated decisions to receive Jesus. The Tidewater tour had four stops in Maryland and one in Virginia before ending in North Carolina. The small town of Edenton had less than 5,000 residents, but drew more than 7,600 people for the event, reports GodTV.
Whatever the problem, I’m here tonight to tell you that Jesus Christ is the answer if you put your faith and trust in Him. —Franklin Graham
“I have a heart for smaller cities,” Graham said in a statement with CBN News. “It is just as important to go to these communities as it is to preach in major cities. The Gospel has such a strong impact in these smaller places. Night after night we have seen hundreds and hundreds of people respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
During the outreach, Graham asked the crowd, “Is there an emptiness in your life? Is your life such a mess that you don’t know what to do or where to go?”
“Whatever the problem, I’m here tonight to tell you that Jesus Christ is the answer if you put your faith and trust in Him.”
Attendees joined Christian artists like Newsboys, Marcos Witt, and Dennis Agajanian in worshipping God. The event was just for a day for each city, but more than 885 churches worked with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) for the God Loves You Tidewater Tour.
Angel Núñez, a pastor in Timonium, MD, said Baltimore faces many social problems including drugs, violence, and human trafficking. “Many people are broken and they have lost all hope. It is precisely at this moment in our lives that we need a touch from God and to hear of His great love for us.”
Meantime, Wallace Phillips, senior pastor of Carpenter’s Shop International Church in Hertford County, NC, revealed that it was a timely gift that the God Loves You Tidewater Tour came to Edenton. “Many people in our communities are struggling with isolation, depression, and anxiety,” he explained. “This is the fresh start that so many people are looking for.”
Shauna*, one of the attendees, was in the right place and the right time when she heard the message that she desperately needed. She was a victim of abuse and had thought of suicide before, but when Graham gave the invitation, she immediately asked Christ to be her Savior. She shared that the Holy Spirit spoke to her through Sunday’s message and that gave her hope for the future. A prayer counselor prayed with her and connected her with a local church so she can start her journey with Christ.
Another attendee, Evan*, decided to give his heart to Jesus during the event. He was devastated for losing his older brother to suicide. A prayer counselor spoke with him and together, asked God to give him comfort.
Chowan County Sheriff Edward Basnight celebrated the inclusion of his local community to the tour. “There’s a strong spiritual climate here,” he said. “I’ve been praying that God would just show up and show off—that He would come in and move this county, this community.”
*Names changed to protect privacy.