RELIGION

Billy Graham to Preach at Baltimore Event

The Rev. Billy Graham, who led his last revival meeting last year, will deliver the final sermon of his son's event in Baltimore. Franklin Graham's 2006 Metro Maryland Festival is scheduled for July 7-9.
The Rev. Billy Graham, who led his last revival meeting last year, will deliver the final sermon of his son's event in Baltimore. Franklin Graham's 2006 Metro Maryland Festival is scheduled for July 7-9. (By Ed Betz -- Associated Press)

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By Hamil R. Harris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Rev. Billy Graham, the legendary preacher who retired from the pulpit last year, has found a second wind for the Gospel and is planning to preach during a three-day event early next month at Baltimore's Camden Yards.

Graham, 87, will deliver the final sermon during his son's 2006 Metro Maryland Festival, Franklin Graham, 54, said yesterday. In an interview, Franklin Graham said that although his father, who has struggled with health problems, held his final crusade last year in New York, "he never told the world that he wouldn't keep preaching."

Graham said that after a trip with his father to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, he asked him to take part in the Baltimore festival. "He said, 'Let me pray about it.' "

Franklin Graham said a group of ministers has been trying to get the crusade to Baltimore for four years. The festival is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. July 7, a Friday, and to conclude July 9 with Billy Graham's message. For July 8, an evening service and a morning Kidsfest are scheduled.

Country music star Randy Travis and gospel legend Andra? Crouch are among the featured recording artists. Many younger artists, including the Newsboys and Israel Houghton, are scheduled to perform.

Local ministers gathered yesterday for a planning meeting at First Baptist Church of Glenarden. They will work as counselors, provide choir members and serve in other roles, said Franklin Graham and festival director Art Bailey.

The ministers will follow up with people who answer the call to accept Jesus as their savior. "For every person who goes forward, we take their names and give it to a group of ministers who will send them a letter by midnight," Graham said. "If they want to we will get them in a Bible study or connect them with a church."


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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