Over 60,000 crowded the Flushing Meadows Corona Park last night beginning from 6 p.m. to participate in the first day of the Greater New York's Billy Graham Crusade, the last for Rev. Billy Graham.
Over 1,400 churches from the New York City area flooded to hear the final sermons of one of the most influential evangelists and most respected icons of modern day Christianity.
Featured at the first night was Texas-based band Salvador, a gospel musical group that have years cooperated with the Graham crusades. Their salsa-beats and Latin innuendos stirred passion in the hearts of the crowd. Also performing was Steven Curtis Chapman, the winner of 47 Dove Awards and four Grammy Awards.
This historic event is the only second time Dr. Graham ventured to New York for the crusades since 1957. After his 60 years of service, Rev. Graham closes his evangelistic ministry in New York City hoping to end his public career in the “Crossroads of the World.”
“Every time I see this, statement that ‘I love New York’ I always pray for NY. I love this city, I have been here so many times and stayed so long and I think that it’s a wonderful occasion for me and my associates,” Rev. Graham said in his opening message.
Drawing from real-life examples, Rev. Graham conveyed his core point of ‘being born again in Christ.' He referred to the scriptures from the Book of John on the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, and calling forth to the crowd to repent and and receive true salvation.
“Jesus said that it’s possible to start life all over again. That’s why he said ‘You must be born again… even Christian maybe. We were baptized and confirmed, but deep inside we need something else. And something else can be brought by Jesus. He called us to repent of our sins and come by faith,” quoted Rev. Graham in his sermon.
Conclusively, Rev. Graham called forth to the crowd to come forward to repent. Hundreds from the audience including Latin-American, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, and Polish crowded toward the stage to come to Christ.