Special to Inside The Pew
Approximately 9,475 Texans heard inspiring messages of forgiveness, hope and purpose from evangelist Will Graham as he held the Red River Will Graham Celebration in Gainesville, March 16-18, and the Trinity Valley Will Graham Celebration in Terrell, March 23-25. More than 400 came forward at the invitation to make a decision for Jesus at the two events.
“We live in a world that says it’s all about you. But that’s not what the Bible says,” said Graham. “The Bible says that if you
want to be satisfied, you need to make God a priority in your life and make it less about you. The only way you can fulfill your purpose is to surrender your life into God’s hand.”
Dena Risinger, who chaired the Celebration executive committee in Terrell, said, “When we began this process many months ago, we assumed that this weekend would be a destination. Now I realize that this is just the beginning, and God has even more in store for our area.”
Johnny Leftwich, who chaired the Gainesville outreach, shared, “It’s been great to see the cooperation that we’ve had; hundreds of volunteers, people coming together not only in our community, but in our county. It’s been quite a joy watching people working together for one purpose and one purpose only: to see others begin a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Graham was joined on-stage throughout the two events by a variety of musical acts. The Red River Celebration featured The Afters, one of today’s top Christian rock bands, who have had songs featured on many television shows, including “The Biggest Loser” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” The audience also had the opportunity to hear from the Northern Ireland-based Rend Collective Experiment, and hip-hop artist Tedashii.
The Trinity Valley Celebration featured music from Grammy Award-nominated band Fireflight and singer-songwriter Brenton Brown, along with Rend Collective Experiment and Tedashii.
Both Celebrations dedicated a morning to children with KidzFest events, featuring bounce houses, balloon animals, games, and a program tailored just for them by children’s performer Tommy Toombs.
Just prior to leaving for Texas, Graham was featured in a two-page article in People magazine. “I’m not used to that kind of attention,” said Graham. “It was very kind of them to do that, and the folks at People were great to work with. I’m very appreciative and very humbled to have had that opportunity.”