July 8, 2013
With four months remaining until the culmination of My Hope America with Billy Graham, the movement recently reached a milestone as more than 16,000 churches across the nation have signed up to participate.
“In a world where the main focus of many is the immediate and the material, it is truly remarkable to see so many begin to turn their eyes and hearts to the eternal,” said Preston Parrish, vice president of the My Hope America evangelistic campaign. “People across the nation are praying and preparing for My Hope America, and we are eagerly anticipating what God will do as people put feet to those prayers.”
Hundreds of preparation meetings, which began last December, have been held in all 50 states. At these meetings, pastors and lay church leaders have come together to learn more about how to maximize this nationwide evangelistic outreach in their own congregations. Meetings are still taking place across the country throughout the summer. In addition to the meetings, thousands of individuals have registered for the project and participated in the free online training.
“I knew right away I wanted to be involved in this endeavor,” said Skip Heitzig, senior pastor of Calvary of Albuquerque, after hearing Franklin Graham share the vision of My Hope America last year. “My Hope is such a natural method of sharing the Gospel and bringing people the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.”
“My Hope is going to let us know if our churches really care about lost people or if we just talk about it,” said Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist in Albany, Ga., the well-known church behind the popular movies Fireproof and Courageous.
Catt set a goal for his church to have 150 participants in the project, but more than 200 have already signed up. A church in Hagerstown, Md. – Tri-State Fellowship – saw their goal of 50 registrants doubled when one third of its congregation registered to participate in My Hope America.
“We are seeing stories like this in churches across the nation,” said Parrish. “But, the ultimate impact of My Hope America hinges on individuals identifying and praying for those people in their lives who need to know Christ.”