Evangelist Franklin Graham has launched a tour that will bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many people in key places around Route 66.
The God Loves You Tour was launched on Sept. 19 in Joliet, Illinois and is set to visit seven other cities along the country's Route 66 until Oct. 2, including St. Louis and Springfield in Missouri, Oklahoma City, Amarillo in Texas, Albuquerque in New Mexico, Flagstaff in Arizona and San Bernardino in California.
Pastors and churches in these cities are helping the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for the tour.
Eddie Bumpers of Crossway Baptist Church said that Springfield is a city of broken people and homes which needs to be reminded about Jesus.
"Only Jesus Christ's love and redemption is the answer to the brokenness and emptiness in people's lives," Bumpers added.
Pastor Murray Gossett of First Presbyterian Church in Amarillo revealed that three of his children gave their lives to Christ when the evangelist first visited the place for a three-day event in 2000, adding that his kids continue to walk with Christ today.
With Rev. Graham's upcoming visit in the city, Gossett said that the need to reach out to the individuals in the area is "greater than ever before" as he observed that people are living with wrong values and perspectives, being deceived by the culture.
"The lures of the world are stronger than ever before," he continued.
The tour will also feature live music from the Newsboys band, Marcos Witt and Dennis Agajanian.
According to CBN News, the gathering last Sunday was the first large event for the evangelist since halting from holding such for 18 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the video invitation posted on the minister's Facebook page, he explained that the title of the tour aims to remind people that the LORD loves them amidst the confusion brought by the health crisis.
"... Many people have wondered 'Has God turned His back on me? Has He left us? Has He forgot us?' I want people to know that God has not forgotten us, that He loves us. And that's why we called this a 'God Loves You' tour."
He also told the Decision Magazine that "every generation has to be evangelized," thus the need to hold such an event.
While in Illinois, Rev. Graham shared that he went to visit Western Springs Baptist Church (WSBC), the first church where the late Evangelist Billy Graham served as a pastor.
He then discovered that WSBC still keeps the pulpit used by his father.
"Though much has grown and changed, the original front entry doors are still the same and in their archive room, they still have the pulpit he used! It was at this church he began his radio ministry with the program "Songs In The Night," the minister said.
"We also stopped by the house nearby where my father and mother rented an upstairs apartment during that time. It was a blessing for me to see these special places that were so much a part of my parents' lives and to see his passion for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ so evident even then," he further stated.