Franklin Graham and Will Graham proclaim message of hope over Easter weekend
COVID-19 caused Easter services this year to look different than years prior, with church buildings across the nation closed down. In response, the Graham family took to broadcasts and livestreams in order to proclaim the hope of Easter.
On April 12, Easter Sunday, Franklin Graham proclaimed the Gospel message during a special Fox News Channel broadcast filmed in New York City. Joined by longtime ministry friend Michael W. Smith, Graham spoke about the hope that Jesus Christ offers to all.
“The Lord Jesus Christ is risen,” Franklin Grahams proclaimed. “He’s not dead. He’s alive, and we’re here… to celebrate Easter.”
Graham and Smith recorded the message in Central Park, standing in front of an emergency field hospital set up by Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational Christian organization that provides international spiritual and physical aid. Medical professionals, along with chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Rapid Response Team, served there as the field hospital took in overflow patients from Mt. Sinai Hospital across the street.
To watch the full Easter message from Franklin Graham, visit here.
Two days prior, on April 10, Will Graham hosted a virtual Good Friday service outside of the Billy Graham Library. Joined by musical artist Aaron Shust, Graham shared about the significance of Good Friday, the day Jesus Christ died on the cross.
“Jesus Christ… died for you. He loves you more than anything in this world that he was willing to die for you,” Will Graham preached. ““He desires a relationship with you.”
To watch the replay of Will Graham’s Good Friday message, Visit BillyGraham.org/live.
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team ministers in New York City and Italy
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains spent the month of April serving in and New York City and Cremona, Italy, offering emotional and spiritual care at Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospitals. These hospitals were set up to care for COVID-19 patients, as hospitals were experiencing an influx of patients due to the coronavirus.
“Living in these days of uncertainty, we recognize that the coronavirus global crisis is something we never prepared for,” International Director of the RRT Jack Munday said. “Yet we recognize that God knew this day was coming and has helped prepare the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team to share God’s hope and comfort in such a time as this.”
While serving in these pandemic hot spots, RRT chaplains had opportunities to pray with thousands of New Yorkers and Italians, community members, medical professionals and patients alike, encouraging them in the midst of trouble.
RRT chaplains also deployed in response to natural disasters throughout the month. In the beginning of April, chaplains ministered to those in Jonesboro, Arkansas, after a devastating tornado ripped through the town. Within two weeks, RRT chaplains deployed to five additional areas in response to devastating tornadoes, including Monroe, Louisiana; Laurel, Mississippi; Seneca, South Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Polk County, Texas. Here, chaplains provided emotional and spiritual care to those impacted by the string of storms.
For more information on the ministry, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit BillyGraham.org/RRT. Updates can also be found at Facebook.com/RRTChaplains.
Billy Graham Library grounds open for prayer, reflection
On Monday, April 17, the Billy Graham Library grounds were once again made available to the public, starting with limited access to the property for those who wish to visit the outdoor memorial prayer garden for prayer and reflection.
With stay-at-home orders still in effect in the state of North Carolina, precautionary measures such as added hand sanitizer stations and increased cleaning of benches and surfaces are being implemented to assure social distancing standards are maintained. Visitors are limited to 20 on the property at a time.
People interested in visiting are encouraged to adhere to CDC guidelines for being in public places and are discouraged from visiting if they have symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus.
“During this time of crisis, having hope provides a positive outlook toward what’s ahead. That hope can be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Scott Holmquist, executive director of the Billy Graham Library. “The memorial prayer garden gives guests a place to come to pray, take a short walk and find respite from the uncertainty amid this global pandemic. We continue to pray for those affected by the coronavirus here in our community and around the world.”
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are available to listen to and pray with those who visit. Chaplains serving at the Billy Graham Library are subject to health guidelines including having had their temperatures screened and wearing face masks.
All indoor facilities within the Billy Graham Library remain closed at this time, including The Journey of Faith tour, Graham Brothers Dairy Bar, Ruth’s Attic bookstore, and Graham family homeplace. Announcements about reopening these facilities will be made at a later date.
The Billy Graham Library remains committed to proclaiming the message of God’s love and will reopen its indoor facilities as soon as possible.
If you would like more information about these, or other, updates from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Complete press releases from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are available at media.billygraham.org.