Graham’s show of hope on its way to Winnipeg

Winnipeg Sun
July 12, 2006
Brenda Boonstra

If evangelical preacher Franklin Graham holds true to form, the MTS Centre could play host to thousands of Christians from more than 30 denominations this fall.

Organizers are unsure how many people will attend the three-day Central Canada Franklin Graham Festival but have planned for 60,000.

The Franklin Graham Festivals have drawn crowds as large as 207,000 and in July pulled 80,000 people into Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The three-day Winnipeg festival, October 20-22 at the MTS Centre, is the brainchild of Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, world-famous evangelist. Graham said the event carries a message of encouragement and hope.

"I wanted to come and tell anyone who feels desperate and without hope that we all have a chance for a new start," Graham said of the festival. "People will hear great music and have the opportunity to accept a challenge that will change their lives."

The Baltimore festival saw participation from more than 648 different churches. In Winnipeg, more than 200 churches and 30 denominations are gearing up for the festival this summer through prayer and music.

"Any challenge in the human condition you can think of, they are praying for," said festival director Dan Klug. "you see a great sense of unity in these churches getting together. It's very unique."

Grammy-award winning band Third Day will be at the MTS Centre on Aug. 7. to get young Manitoban Christians pumped about the fall festival.


The October festival will feature Franklin Graham, Michael W. Smith, Ron Hutchcraft, Rebecca St. James and special guests. Saturday will offer children's entertainment, including a ventriloquist and a bike stunt show.

All denominations are welcome and admission is free.

"This is not going to be about a hard sell," said Klug. "It will be an exciting, high energy show of music with a message that will give many a new sense of purpose."

To date, Franklin Graham has taken his festival through 33 states, 16 countries, and has spoken to more than 4.5 million people.

BBB Festival of Hope My Hope with Billy Graham

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada

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