By Michael Ireland, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
PETERHEAD, SCOTLAND (ANS, Oct. 19, 2016) – The North East Scotland Celebration of Hope was Will Graham’s first time preaching in Scotland, and marked a homecoming of sorts for the evangelist.
His ancestry is three-quarters Scottish, with forefathers from the Graham, Bell and Cunningham lines hailing from the country. He had visited the country once prior, when his father, Franklin Graham, preached in Perth in 1999.
Graham’s grandfather, Billy Graham, held several outreaches in Scotland over the course of his decades-long ministry.
In 1955, shortly after his pivotal 1954 campaign in London, the elder Graham spent more than a month in Glasgow, and followed that with a tour of Scottish cities. He returned to Glasgow in 1961 for a one-day event. His final campaign on Scottish soil came in 1991, when he held multi-day outreaches in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. All told, more than 3 million people heard Billy Graham preach in Scotland.
A BGEA media update says Will completed five consecutive days of preaching the Gospel in Peterhead, Scotland, a small fishing town with a population of just over 18,500 residents. More than 4,800 attended the North East Scotland Celebration of Hope, held Oct. 5-9.
“God loves you. He knows everything in your heart. He wants to give you the hope and love that you’re looking for,” Graham told the audience. “Maybe you’re dealing with guilt, anger or hopelessness. God wants to change all that. All you have to do is receive His forgiveness.”
According to the BGEA, more than 240 responded at the invitation to make a commitment to Jesus Christ.
The Celebration utilized an auditorium at Peterhead Academy, with overflow seating elsewhere in the school and in nearby churches. The event was also simulcast to Live Link Locations in the nearby towns of Fraserburgh, Banff, and Elgin, communities that are 17, 35, and 70 miles away, respectively.
Additionally, three evenings of the Celebration of Hope were live-streamed around the world via webcast. A total of 5,240 visitors from 77 different countries logged on to view the Celebration, and 152 registered commitments to Christ.
On his Facebook page, Will Graham said: “It was an incredible week in Scotland! Thank you to everybody who joined us in prayer and for the webcast online. God is moving in incredible ways in Peterhead, and I truly believe it’s only the beginning of what He is going to do in that community. God bless you!”
“Absolutely wonderful and sensational. Obviously it has exceeded our expectations, but – at the same time – fulfilled them, because we were believing for this,” said Tom Malone, who was the chairman of the local Celebration executive committee. “To see so many people responding, it is absolutely fantastic.”
Hans Mannegren, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s celebration director who helped to guide the effort in Peterhead, added, “The churches have been incredibly supportive and engaged the whole time, and the prayer that has been invested in the Celebration of Hope was exceptional. I feel blessed to be a part of this.”
Will is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ under the banner of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). He also serves as vice president of the BGEA, and as executive director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C. Follow Will on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WillGraham4 and on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TellaGraham.
Photo captions: 1) Will Graham preaching in Peterhead, Scotland. (BGEA photo). 2) Even little ones gave rapt attention to what Will had to say.(BGEA). 3) Michael Ireland
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ASSIST News Service since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael
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