LOS ANGELES – Yesterday, Feb. 9, Billy Graham announced his seventh evangelistic campaign in Los Angeles to be held July 29 – Aug. 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Involving more than 1,000 churches representing 50 different denominations, the event was put together with the effort of more than 400 local Christian leaders, including Rev. Lloyd Ogilvie, former Senate chaplain and pastor emeritus of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, who will serve as honorary chair, and Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, pastor at Faithful Central Bible Church, and Dr. Jack Hayford, senior pastor at The Church on The Way, as the co-chairs.
"It is overwhelming to receive an invitation to once again come to Southern California to proclaim the Gospel -- I never dreamed I would still be preaching at the age of 85," Mr. Graham wrote. "But the call the Lord has laid upon my heart to share the Good News is as strong as when I was much younger. God has granted me renewed strength, energy, freedom and determination to preach the Gospel.
"Because God has specifically placed Los Angeles on our hearts recently, it is with great excitement that I make plans to return to the Los Angeles area in a few months," Mr. Graham continued. "I feel somewhat like the Apostle Paul in wanting to go back to places where we have 'preached the Lord to see how they are doing.' More important, however, there is a new generation that needs to hear the Gospel since our last crusade there in 1985. And now, Lord willing, I am looking forward with great anticipation to the Greater Los Angeles Crusade."
"We need a spiritual awakening and greater unity among our diversified population to confront challenges in this city," Dr. Ogilvie said. "Most of all, we need to reach out to millions of people who long to know God and experience His peace and power. The pastors and lay leaders of Los Angeles who have banded together in support of the Greater Los Angeles Crusade expect an outpouring of God's blessing in this return of Billy Graham."
Recounting Mr. Graham's previous ministry in the community, Bishop Ulmer said "For reasons known only to Him, God has sovereignly chosen to do mighty works in Los Angeles. And we greatly anticipate the return of Dr. Graham to Los Angeles for a crusade at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in July,” Bishop Ulmer said.
"This crusade will be much more than a four-day event in July; we're serving the goal of a long-term spiritual refreshing, revealing that God hasn't given up on Los Angeles," Dr. Hayford said, referring to the cross-denominational cooperation exhibited as leaders have united together to invite Mr. Graham to town. "God loves the people of our city, and each one deserves to know how much."
Vice President of Billy Graham Crusades, Larry Turner was thankful to area pastors who are willing to perform cooperative work for the event. He said, "This is a very well-respected group of leaders, and I look forward to working with them in the coming months as we prepare for the great work of the Gospel in this community.”