“I’ve lived in California 62 years and I am PRAYING!” Kathy Gonzalez commented on a recent BGEA post about the Decision America California Tour.
“Thank you for coming to pray with us that all Californians will receive the Gospel message with open hearts,” she added. “Lord JESUS, save California!”
Kathy’s comment is one of many encouraging messages Californians have been sharing since the 10-city tour was announced.
“I’m so excited,” David Cornett wrote. “I’ve invited my whole small group to join with me and be counselors talking with people about the Gospel. We’ll be offering info to businesses and knocking on neighbors’ doors. We are praying for renewal & awakening!”
That’s exactly what Franklin Graham hopes to see across the Golden State as he embarks on the tour, which began in Escondido (May 20) and has been travelling up the coast with stops in Pasadena (May 21), Oxnard (May 23), Bakersfield (May 25), Fresno (May 28), Modesto (May 29), Santa Clara (May 31), Berkeley (June 1), Chico (June 3) and Redding (June 5).
“If you live in or near California, make plans to join us at one of the stops and bring others with you who need the Savior,” Franklin Graham said. “Be sure to start praying in advance for each person you might invite.”
‘I’ll Preach Anyway’
The California tour will mark the first Decision America event since Franklin Graham lost his father in February. Since Billy Graham went to be with Jesus, Franklin has been as passionate as ever about carrying on his father’s lifelong work of sharing the hope of Christ with the world. Franklin is especially determined to take the message to the West Coast, even through he expects a certain amount of opposition in a state that’s known for advancing a secular agenda.
“There are places in California where public preaching about sin and the Gospel of Jesus Christ will not be welcome,” Franklin said. “I’ll preach anyway.
“In the Bible, God Himself says, “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me” (Romans 10:20). Pray that God, in His love, will open hearts and draw people to Himself—including many who have up until now ignored Him.”
The last time Franklin preached publicly in California was in 2016 when he embarked on a 50-state tour, stopping in every capital in the U.S. In Sacramento, an estimated 7,500 people came out to hear the Gospel and pray for the state and the country.
Two years later, the outdoor events that make up the Decision America California Tour will include music from Jeremy Camp and a Gospel message from Franklin. And prayer is still at the heart of the tour.
“At each stop we will join together in urgent prayer for the state, for our country, and for our leaders,” Franklin Graham said. “God commands us to pray, and He can work through prayer to change the direction of a life, a community, or a nation.”
California, 1949: Where Billy Graham’s Worldwide Ministry Began
The upcoming tour is the latest chapter in the Graham family’s long history of ministry in California. Back in 1949, Billy Graham was in the San Bernardino Mountains when he faced a decision that would determine the course of his life.
A short time later, he was thrust into the international spotlight as hundreds of thousands of people flooded his tent meetings in Los Angeles. That famous 1949 event was the beginning of more than 60 years of public ministry around the world.
The ministry Mr. Graham began has also gone to California during difficult times for residents there. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has sent crisis-trained chaplains to the state numerous times during devastating wildfires, most recently to Ventura County in December 2017. Chaplains also ministered to residents after the San Bernardino terrorist attack in 2015 and Oakland’s “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire in 2016.
As the BGEA team visits California once again—traveling the length of the state to reach as many people as possible—thousands of Californians and believers around the world are praying for God to move powerfully as He draws people to the hope of Christ.
“We’ve prayed for years for this event…to see Franklin or Will to come to the West with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Wayne and Hattie King posted recently. “PRAISE GOD!”
>> Watch any of the remaining 6 Decision California events LIVE at: Billygraham.org/live. All events begin at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET.
- Monday, May 28: Fresno
- Tuesday, May 29: Modesto
- Thursday, May 31: Santa Clara
- Friday, June 1: Berkeley
- Sunday, June 3: Chico
- Tuesday, June 5: Redding
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