by Warren Nunn
Six decades after the first Billy Graham crusade drew enormous crowds, his son Franklin is coming back to Australia to mark the special anniversary.
It’s been almost a year since Rev Graham died aged 99.
Franklin Graham is bringing the same salvation message his father brought back in 1959; that true happiness and ultimate fulfilment come through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Faith, vision not always shared
By his own admission, Franklin did not always share his father’s faith and vision.
He told 96five’s Alex Milne that the last thing he wanted to do growing up was to follow his father. Franklin said that probably embarrassed Billy but God had other plans for him.
“At 22, God got a hold of my heart,” Franklin said. “I realised that I was a sinner, that I had sinned against God and I needed His forgiveness. One night I got on my knees and said ‘God, this is Franklin, I have messed up. If You could just take the pieces of my life and somehow put it together, You can have it’.
The Lord certainly has put the pieces together for Franklin as he now is president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as well as the international Christian relief organisation Samaritan’s Purse.
Brisbane event at River Stage February 18
Brisbane is one of six cities where Franklin will bring the Gospel message just as his father did back in 1959. It will be held at the River Stage on Monday, February 18.
“I first went to Australia in 1975 with my good friend Bob Pierce, who founded Samaritan’s Purse. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to preach in many locations across this incredibly beautiful nation,” Franklin said.
The tour starts Saturday, February 9 in Perth. Each event is free and open to all. Grammy-nominated music artist Crowder will perform as well.
1959 events attracted more than 3 million
In 1959, more than three million people—nearly a third of Australia’s population at the time —attended Billy Graham events throughout Australia.
Franklin Graham’s first evangelistic event was in 1989, and since then he has held 183 festivals in 48 countries.
Dates and locations for 2019 tour
- Perth (Saturday, February 9) – RAC Arena
- Darwin (Wednesday, February 13) – Darwin Convention Centre
- Melbourne (Saturday, February 16) – Hisense Arena
- Brisbane (Monday, February 18) – River Stage
- Adelaide (Wednesday, February 20) – Titanium Security Arena
- Sydney (Saturday/Sunday, February 23 – 24) – International Convention Centre
For more information about the 2019 Graham Tour of Australia, visit GrahamTour.com.au