Evangelist Franklin Graham's "God Loves You" tour closed out in Minnesota this weekend, with more than 50,000 people hearing the life-changing message of the Gospel during the six-city tour.
The "God Loves You" outreach began in Allentown, PA in late September and continued across 1,000 miles, including stops in York, Pennsylvania; Youngstown, Ohio; Flint, Michigan; and Waukesha, Wisconsin.
"I believe this is where our nation's backbone of hard work, grit, and determination lies, but so many people in our country are struggling. They're looking for hope, peace, and purpose in their lives," said Franklin Graham, president, and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "We're coming to remind everyone there is Good News! God loves us, and He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to save us from our sins."
More than 8,000 people attended last night's event in Rochester which featured the musical talents of the Newsboys, Marcos Witt, and Dennis Agajanian.
But it was Graham's message on God's love and salvation that impacted hundreds of people who decided to give their lives to Jesus Christ.
"The world around us is changing so drastically, but there is something that doesn't change—God and His Holy Word. He created us, He loves us, and He wants to have a personal relationship with us. There aren't many paths to God—only one—and that is through repentance and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. What a blessing to witness so many respond to the invitation to put their trust in Him," he wrote on Facebook.
The "God Loves You" tour is an outreach of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), and more than 970 churches across all six cities area partnered with the ministry because they believe the powerful message of the Bible needs to be shared in communities.
Even cynical Rochester residents who contend Graham's message does not resonate with their community were able to hear the Gospel message.
People from almost a dozen different congregations protested outside of the event in Rochester holding signs proclaiming God loves everyone — including LGBTQ people, according to the Post Bulletin.
The Christian message that's being broadcast is a different message than the Christian message of love and inclusion," Rev. Paul Bauch, the lead pastor at Peace United Church of Christ, told the outlet.
But attendees said Graham's message revealed that everyone is indeed loved by God.
"In these days of uncertainty, fear, brokenness, and despair, it is clear that we cannot save ourselves personally or as a society," said Nathan Brand, senior pastor of Berean Community Church in Rochester. "The only thing that can overcome and transcend these challenges is the love of God in the transforming, life-giving work of Jesus Christ. That is what the God Loves You Tour is about and why we want to invite all in the Rochester area to be a part of it!"