Churches of Blackpool ‘Take a Stand’

Sep 26, 2018 by

from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association UK:

In the top row of the second balcony at the Opera House in Blackpool, England, Hannah Jowle paused to take everything in.

The 21-year-old was wide-eyed and shocked at what she had experienced in her hometown over the three-day Lancashire Festival of Hope. A total of 9,000 people had packed into the Winter Gardens complex over three nights with hundreds making life-changing decisions for Christ.

The Church is alive.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “I’ve never seen this many people worship together.”

Franklin Graham, a worldwide evangelist, had come to the seaside tourist town near Manchester and Liverpool, despite stiff opposition from Blackpool activist groups. His mission, contrary to local media reports, was quite simple—to communicate the love of Jesus Christ.

“It’s not Franklin Graham that’s the cause of the dissent,” said Steve Haskett, executive co-chair for the Festival. “It’s the Gospel. The Gospel has always been controversial.”

Jowle heard about the bus ads yanked around town. She caught wind of the planned protests, which consisted of a few dozen people per night, dropping to single digits the final day. She wasn’t fazed.

“God loves them, just like He loves us,” she said, before defending Franklin Graham’s Biblical stances that often get labelled “hate speech.”

After all, she said, he’s offering anyone who will listen the best gift around—the Good News of Jesus Christ. Love wrapped in truth.

“He’s so blunt, but he’s so truthful,” Jowle said. “He’s not politically correct, but he speaks exactly what the Bible says.”

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