News from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ― September 2019

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains deploy in response to Hurricane Dorian

The beginning of September brought devastation to the Bahamas and parts of the U.S. as Hurricane Dorian made its way of destruction. Responding to the catastrophe, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) deployed teams of crisis-trained chaplains to the Bahamas.

“… It is easy to see that the destruction this storm has caused in the Bahamas will leave a lasting impact,” said Jack Munday, director of the RRT.

Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, took time to encourage locals receiving care at the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital in Freeport, which was the island’s only hospital within days after the storm.

Despite the catastrophic tragedy that killed at least 51 people and left tens of thousands homeless and 1,300 missing, the islanders’ great faith in God has been an inspiration to the chaplains.

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.


More than 12,000 hear the Gospel during Will Graham’s three-city Big Sky Celebration

Will Graham’s Big Sky Celebration marked the first three-city tour he has done in the United States. Beginning on Sept. 6, Will Graham’s visit to Montana started in Helena, spanning the entire weekend. He then paused in Hamilton on Sept. 11 for a mid-week event. The Big Sky Celebration concluded with a truly celebratory finale in Great Falls on Sept. 13-15.

“Unless you come to Christ by faith to the foot of the cross, there’s no hope for you. You’ve got to come to Christ,” Will Graham said. “God doesn’t put a Band-Aid on your life and say, ‘I hope this will work.’ God gives you a whole new life, a new beginning, a fresh start.”

More than 530 people responded to the Gospel message in Great Falls, walking forward at the invitation to begin a relationship with Jesus. Similar decisions for Christ were made by 273 people in Helena (Sept. 6-8) and 50 people in Hamilton (Sept. 11) over the course of the Big Sky Celebration.

“I’m overwhelmed, honestly. It’s hard to comprehend all that God has done. So many lives have been changed, their eternal destiny has been changed,” said Pastor Lee Barrows, who – along with Shane Etzwiler – helped to lead the Great Falls portion of the Big Sky Celebration tour. “God did something unusually kind for our city, and we’re so excited.”

From here he will travel to Belleville, Ontario, and Baker Lake, Nunavut, to hold a pair of Celebrations in Canada in October. For stories and photos from the Big Sky Celebration, visit the Big Sky Celebration website.


The Billy Graham Library hosts Men’s Dinner with Darryl Strawberry

An eight-time Major League Baseball All-Star and four-time World Series Champion, Darryl Strawberry spoke to a sold out crowd at the Billy Graham Library’s Men’s Dinner, hosted on Sept. 13. Strawberry spoke to the crowd of 300 about his path to redemption through his relationship with Jesus Christ.

After battling addiction for much of his life and baseball career, Strawberry gave his life to Christ more than a decade ago and now serves as a pastor and speaker. He cited Billy Graham’s influence on his ministry, saying, “I learned how to preach the Gospel because of Billy Graham. [When I was called to the ministry] I started studying his books and listening to him as an evangelist who was called to win the lost. Billy Graham left such a great legacy, his legacy was Jesus Christ.”

Before accepting Christ as his savior, Strawberry admitted that he had given many excuses for ignoring God, but finally came to the point of surrender. “I didn’t want to be me anymore. I wanted to be in Christ,” he said. “I didn’t want to be Darryl Strawberry: great baseball player, who had troubles. No, I wanted to be redeemed and restored.”

Lots of “amens” and head nods from the audience accompanied Strawberry’s time onstage during the Men’s Dinner. Many in the audience expressed an understanding of the kind of supernatural work God can do in a man’s life.

Strawberry said Mr. Graham taught him about winning souls to Christ and growing the kingdom of God. Now 57, the All-Star runs Strawberry Ministries alongside his wife, Tracy. The couple has opened several rehabilitation centers for young adults, with a desire to help others find freedom in Christ.

Strawberry wrapped up his talk giving glory to God for putting the broken pieces of his life back together. “You’re looking at the masterpiece of what God has done in my life,” he shared. Many of those who attended also took time to browse a table full of items from Billy Graham’s collection related to baseball. The evangelist was a big fan of the sport and as a young man thought that he, too, might become a baseball player.

Visit the Billy Graham Library website to learn more about upcoming events, including a book signing with Tammie Jo Schults in November.


If you would like more information about these, or other, updates from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, please contact media@billygraham.org. Complete press releases from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are available at media.billygraham.org