A Snapshot of the Nationwide Outreach, My Hope with Billy Graham, from Nov. 7-10 across North America By Evangelistic Association
Charlotte, N.C., couple Richard and Deborah Rosser hosted a My Hope gathering outside in a tent, reminiscent of Billy Graham’s early years of preaching. An 8-year-old boy prayed to receive Christ, and an older man rededicated his life to Jesus.
A number of prisons around the United States showed the My Hope programs, including High Point Detention Center in North Carolina, where 296 prisoners watched the videos over the course of three nights. In all, 31 prisoners in High Point made first-time decisions for Christ, and 47 rededicated their lives to Jesus.
Believers from more than 28,000 churches in North America registered to participate in My Hope by opening up their homes to friends, family and neighbors who didn’t previously have relationships with Jesus.
After showing a My Hope video, believers hosting friends and family were encouraged to share their personal testimonies in three minutes or less.
Each night, as “The Cross” aired on various television stations across North America, 40 response centers were open, with volunteers from BGEA, Focus on the Family, Liberty University and the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board taking calls from viewers. Many callers made decisions for Christ, including a 12-year old boy named Jaden from Marion, Ohio. Jaden’s father is serving a 21-year prison sentence. Jaden made a decision for Christ after watching “The Cross” on TV and calling into BGEA.
While many believers held My Hope gatherings at their homes, others held events at churches, community centers and on college campuses.
About 70 people attended the regular Friday night service at The Rock Church in Provo, Utah, and among the handful of new visitors, two people prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Savior after watching “The Cross.”
My Hope places a strong emphasis on follow-up. New believers are encouraged to attend church or begin Bible studies with the people who invited them to watch the My Hope programs. When people accept Christ over the phone, BGEA sends them materials in the mail to help in their new walk with God.
At a My Hope gathering at a home in Lansing, Mich., six people prayed the prayer of repentance together after watching “The Cross.”
Hundreds of guests gathered together at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., to honor Billy Graham on the night of his 95th birthday.
Billy Graham thanked birthday guests and longtime friends and supporters at his birthday party, where his message, “The Cross” was shown. The video features the powerful testimonies of rapper Lecrae and singer Lacey Sturm, who both attended the birthday party in Asheville.
Darilyn Dierickx hosted 10 friends and family members Friday night for a meal and viewing of “The Cross” at her Hemet, Calif., home.
Darilyn was especially praying for one friend in particular, who ended up praying the prayer of salvation with Billy Graham and eagerly taking the My Hope discipleship materials.
Former pro skateboarder Brian Sumner, featured in the My Hope video “Lose to Gain,” was also the “Matthew” host at Soul Ride Skatepark in Concord, N.C., where more than a dozen skateboarders responded to Sumner’s invitation to follow Christ.
Felicitas Aranda hosted 50 people at her San Diego, Calif., home to watch “Momentos Decisivos,” the Spanish version of the “Defining Moments” video.
Two people responded to invitations to receive Christ at Felicitas’ gathering, including one rededication. Felicitas, who is part of the Hispanic congregation at Shadow Mountain Community Church, said numerous other people told her afterward that they were stirred to consider the Lord in a much deeper way than ever before.
Eboni Jackson, a 14-year-old from Albany, Ga., went on a mission to share the My Hope message with her community.
Will Graham, vice president of the BGEA and grandson of Billy Graham, preached at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., wrapping up a weekend of My Hope events. Known for its faith-based movies, Sherwood was one of the biggest supporters of My Hope, spending a good chunk of the year training members to be “Matthew” hosts and share their faith through relationship evangelism. The church saw 76 salvations as a result.