Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Announces a Celebration of Hope in New Orleans
Franklin Graham Event to be Held at the New Orleans Arena, March 11-12, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 28, 2005—The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced this week that Franklin Graham, along with local church and civic leaders, will hold a Celebration of Hope at the New Orleans Arena, March 11-12, 2006.
"Each time I've been to the Gulf Cost since Hurricane Katrina I've been touched by the people I've met who have lost so much, but you can still see a glimmer of hope in their eyes," said Graham, who recently accepted local church leaders' invitation to lead the Celebration. "When leaders in the community asked me to join them in bring this event to New Orleans, I wanted to come to encourage those that are reaching out to their neighbor, but also tell those in desperation that there is hope."
Graham is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and president of the international relief organization Samaritan's Purse, which has provided more than $30 million in aid to Katrina victims, including donating 200 mobile homes to churches in the New Orleans area to shelter hurricane victims for the next year.
More than 100 clergy and church leaders from the New Orleans area are currently involved in organizing the Celebration. Bishop J. Douglas Wiley, pastor of Life Center Cathedral, and Dr. David Crosby, pastor of First Baptist Church New Orleans, are serving as co-chairs of the event and will oversee the event preparation process.
"After the worse natural disaster in the history of this nation, never has this area been more open to spiritual renewal," said Bishop Wiley. "The Celebration of Hope brings to New Orleans, Louisiana, and the entire Gulf Coast region the gospel of Christ Jesus, a new and dynamic unity among Christians, and the message of hope and life to all."
After Hurricane Katrina, area church leaders asked Graham to hold the Celebration of Hope in their region. The Steering Committee, comprised of local volunteers from the New Orleans area, will assist in the planning and operation of the event.
The Celebration of Hope will be open to the public and free of charge.
Churches interested in being involved in this event are invited to attend one of six information briefings to be held Nov. 28 - Dec. 3. For locations and times please call (877) 733-5243.