Billy Graham Launches “My Hope” Campaign in US

    November 5, 2013
    Brian Powell
    Comments are off for this post.

We’ve all seen those massive, conglomerate, super churches. And we’ve also all either been supremely awed by their presence, or extremely jealous that our favorite sports teams don’t have gyms as nice as the local church. Whatever the reaction, there is probably one man to thank or despise – Billy Graham. Reverend Graham rose to prominence in the 1950’s due to his large, public rallies and demonstrations. His popularity has increased over the years, and thus his name has become synonymous with evangelism. Now, at the ripe age of 95, Billy Graham intends to release his “My Hope” campaign to the United States.

The campaign is set to hit American airwaves on November 7 – Graham’s birthday. To celebrate both momentous occasions, Graham has invited more than 800 people to his North Carolina home to view the program. The list of attendees includes Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Governor Pat McCroy, and musician Michael W. Smith. Both Bush Sr. and Jr. declined Graham’s invitation, the former due to ill-health and the latter due to scheduling conflicts. Bill Clinton has yet to make a decision about whether or not he will attend.

The spirit of Graham’s message lies with the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew was an apostle of Jesus who often invited people into his personal home to meet Jesus and spread the gospel. Through his “My Hope” campaign, Graham is hoping to inspire millions of Americans to “become Matthews”. So far, more than 25,000 churches have agreed to support the program and air the 30 minute video, which features athletes and musicians sharing their stories of how Jesus has impacted their lives, along with a few messages from Graham himself.

This will be the first time Graham has publicly presented a message since 2006. Due to his increasing age, declining health, and the ever-increasing pervasiveness of digital media, Graham has opted to present his message in a video instead of to a live audience. Preston Parrish, the vice president of the “My Hope” America event, believes that this method of delivery will be the most effective way to reach America:

“We see in the book of Acts, they met, they prayed, they fellowshipped and took meals together from house to house.In our society, I think we’ve lost something very valuable. We are fragmented and disconnected. We have superficial online connections. So with this, the whole emphasis is on gathering face to face and focusing on real relationships.”

While this is the advent of the “My Hope” message here in the United States, the Billy Graham Evangelical Foundation estimates the this particular campaign, which began worldwide in 2002, has reached more than 10 million people, in 57 countries, worldwide. So why is this campaign coming to the United States after 11 years of existence? Graham feels that now is the right time due to several reasons, such as the facts that 7% of people struggle with depression on a daily basis, 14% of people are afflicted by fear/anxiety, 7% of people are addicted to some form of drug, 8% of people are unemployed, and most importantly – 60 out of every 100 people do not consider themselves “born again.”

Franklin Graham, Billy’s son, has said that the “My Hope” campaign will “be his [Bill Graham’s] last call.” Considering the man is turning 95, one can rightfully say it is time to hang up the vestments and let God handle the rest of the work (because God is theoretically immortal and whatnot, you know).

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  • Dan Byrd Jr.

    I find the last sentence of this article offensive. It is disrespectful and rude.

  • cris

    I agree with you Dan. The last line of this article was rude and shows a total lack of class not to mention a total lack of professionalism. The writer has no business in this line of work if he can not reframe from making these kind of rude tasteless remarks.

    • David Berry

      Well said. When I took journalism comments such as the last line were to be left off. If you have told the story there is no need to write such dribble and insult your readers. Obviously still a good rule. That is the problem with news writers now, all the rules have gone by the wayside. A shameful remark from a so-called teacher and debate coach.

  • Elizabeth Brennan

    Maybe I’m blind, and this is all a dream, but I know I read this article and not one mention of where I can see this “message” that’s being delivered on November 7th. And I agree with another comment that the last sentence of this article is disrespectful and rude.

    • Karen

      Fox News Channel 10pm eastern time. Also Daystar, TBN and so local channels will be carrying this too.

    • Karen

      Fox News Channel 10pm Eastern time. Daystar and TBN also will air it and other local stations.

  • Liza B

    Please reply if anyone knows who is airing this presentation by Reverence Graham

    • Rachael

      Hi Liza! If you go to Reverend Graham’s website located at http://myhopewithbillygraham.org/ and scroll down, there’s a box that says Broadcast listings. Click on that and it will take you to a page where it will help you find out the date, time and channel it broadcasts in your area. I hope this helps!

    • Karen

      Please see above.

  • DJ

    I sincerely pray Dr. Graham will be with us for awhile – we, this country so desperately needs presence and influence

  • Jen

    True journalism resorts to facts about the story instead of inserting your own opinion in the last line of “it”. This isn’t reporting and whatnot, you know. I agree the last part of this article is rude indeed.

  • mary

    wonderful man of God has a promise in the bible that he can live to be 120 if he wants to. God bless you Billy Graham and all you have done and am still doing to increase the Kingdom of God one soul at a time. I thank God for your ministry.

  • Paul B

    Without question, not only the last sentence, but the tone of the whole article was disrespectful. People who know little about religion should abstain from trying to instruct others. Billy Graham was never about mega churches as he was a friend and encourager of all churches, regardless of size, that sought to present the good news of salvation to those within their spheres of influence.

    • http://yahoo MaryM

      Paul B, I agree with your entire response. My response: This airing of Billy Graham, I pray, will lead thousands more to Christ. I’m 56 years old. My sister, 76 years old, went to one of Billy Graham’s crusades in the 60’s. As a result, my Mother was lead to the Lord, thus, leading me to he Lord when I was 8 years old. Rev. Graham should be honored, and highly appreciated for ALL of his “heavenly-sanctioned” crusades! I place the Reverend at the top of the “list” of evangelists. Hundreds of thousands of people have been lead to the Lord as a result of Billy Graham. He surely leads a Godly life; a HIGHLY influential Christian. Thank you, Billy Graham!

  • http://NONE Linda D. Reaves

    If MY E-Mail shows up in ANY OTHER HANDS, Billy Graham will find “U”.

    I think this is WONDERFUL – he has inspired BILLIONS of people. I go to the YMCA and there is a WONDERFUL woman that is in her 80’s. She moved to the United States 61 years ago from GERMANY and she is a Baptist. WHAT ABOUT THAT. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER DR. BILLY GRAHAM, HIS SON IS FOLLOWING HIS FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS.

    Thank “U” & have a BLESSED EVENING

  • jackie

    Thanks Mr. Graham. You have been an inspiration all my life and will continue to be. We need people like you who carry the message of the Lord to the ends of the earth.
    As for the journo who wrote this article, the less said the better. He needs to get another job.

  • apelila

    I think the article is mostly BAD. Not just the last comment being disrespectful, but the entire 1st paragraph!
    I think we have GOD to thank for gifting and empowering Billy Graham like HE has done no other in our lifetime. Billy Graham was obedient and humble, gentle and kind. Always.
    Thank-you Billy Graham for preaching the truth about God’s love, and God’s justice. I am saved because you weren’t afraid to preach Hell as the alternative. Happy Birthday. Know we were blessed by your obedience.

  • jack

    I also found the tone Rude indeed.

  • Reality of America

    All I know is that Christians in this country really don’t do what Christ told them to do. Give mercy, love, forgive, help the poor, seek peace, trust, and do not fear.

    We incarcerate more people than any other nation has in the history of mankind. In fact, the bible belt states are the worse. Then if people are lucky enough to get our of prison, they are branded for life and their lives are made a living hell. That is not being merciful or forgiving.

    We don’t help the poor. We are rounding up homeless people in places like South Carolina (bible belt state again) and sending them to FEMA camps. We are cutting food stamps for many people who need them, yet we are fighting useless wars and constantly shoveling money into killing. Heck, most of the people in prison are the poor because they can’t afford to fight their cases. Why do you think so many people plead guilty. Trust me, the super rich rarely end up in a prison. That is not taking care of the poor.

    We certainly don’t seek peace. Our nation has been at war for 12 years now and perpetually ever since the early 1900s. We are messing around in every country on the globe. We are nothing but war mongers. We most certainly do not seek peace. We kill. Killing is killing. Believe me, God hears the prayers of the people we bomb too.

    We don’t trust in God because if we did, we would simply pray instead of seeking vengeance with our wars. Our need to seek vengeance because of 9/11 has ruined our economy, weakened our country, cost many innocent lives, and made us give up all our rights. We need to pray more, trust more, and let God take care of us.

    Lastly, our country is constantly fearful. We are doing everything out of fear. Even though Christ said not too. Our fear has allowed evil and tyranny to come to this land.

    American Christianity is the biggest hypocrisy in the world. Everyone feels good when they go to a Billy Graham crusade, then they go back home and don’t put the practices of Christ into daily use. Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe in Christ. I believe in Christianity. We just don’t do what Christ said to do. If anything, we still cling on to the harsh, uncaring, harmful old testament in this country. An eye for an eye and all that jazz. We need to follow Christ and his examples. His life was the example.

    • Marcia Carr

      It is true that we Christians don’t behave as Christ would have us behave. Christians never have and never will…we are still human and fallible. We are often selfish, self centered and prone to hypocrisy, just like the rest of society. But, I have also seen extreme love, sacrifice, and grace. However, do not judge God by our human frailties. He is real, holy, and coming back. Because of Billy Graham, many people have come to know Him, and will be joining him in heaven. Personally, I have always wanted to meet Billy Graham, and though I won’t be able to do that in this life, I have wonderful plans on meeting him in the next.

      • @Marcia

        No one is judging God. Just the hypocrisy of man and that hypocrisy is causing real suffering for real people. Go talk to the prisoner, the homeless person, the hungry, the people who lost family members in bombings. That is real suffering.

        We say we are a Christian nation and we simply are not. We are a hypocrisy. God sees this. I think many people in this nation will be in for a rude awakening when they die.

        Faith without works is dead faith. Chrisitans should work to relieve stop the things above, but they don’t They build mega churches, go to church on sunday, and ignore.

  • Clifford Spencer

    Dear Sir,
    The Book of Revelations has dire warnings, against additions and deletions, from HIS WORD!
    Where, in the Book of Mormon, is the Gospel of Matthew?

  • Tina

    There is a very sarcastic tone throughout the entire article, which made it not worth reading or “whatnot”.

    Unbiased and thorough reporting of a story has gone by the wayside.

  • Anne Lynch

    Brian, don’t feel so bad with all the comments…God still loves you!
    That is taught in the Bible and Billy Graham would say the same.
    God loves everybody.

  • Emmy

    Billy Graham is a life-long inspiration in a broken world. The last sentence by this author demonstrates his lack of journalism acumen and clear disrespect for a man of God.

    I was fortunate to have attended a Billy Graham event though I am not particularly religious. I will forever be grateful for his words of hope to so many who were visibly moved. Would that our world had more Billy Grahams and fewer Brian Powells.

  • Sue

    Reverend Graham is a true Godly man. He fills my heart with hope and joy. He is