Preacher Will Graham heads to Toon

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Peterhead will be the focus of a five-day outreach when Will Graham, grandson of evangelist Billy Graham, arrives in town next month.

The North East Scotland Celebration of Hope will take place in the Blue Toon from October 5 to 9 at the town’s academy - the only Scottish date for the renowned preacher.

Mr Graham (41), has preached on six continents since beginning his evangelistic ministry in 2006, but the five-day Celebration of Hope will be his first time speaking in Scotland.

“Several of my ancestors came to the United States from Scotland, so this will be a homecoming of sorts for me,” he said.

“I look forward to sharing the hope that can be found in a relationship with Jesus; hope not just for today, but for eternity”.

Along with inspiring messages from Mr Graham, each Celebration of Hope programme will feature free concerts by Christian musical artists.

Performers will include the New Scottish Hymns Band, LZ7, Ranan, Mark Stevens, and more.

Live Link Locations have been established in three neighbouring communities - Assemblies of God in Fraserburgh, River Church in Banff, and Oasis Hub in Elgin – in addition to the live event at Peterhead Academy.

Mr Graham’s grandfather, Billy Graham, held several outreaches in Scotland over the course of his decades-long ministry. In 1955, shortly after his pivotal 1954 campaign in London, the elder Mr Graham spent more than a month in Glasgow, and followed that with a tour of Scottish cities.

He returned to Glasgow in 1961 for a one-day event. His final campaign on Scottish soil came in 1991, when he held multi-day outreaches in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. All told, more than 3 million people heard Billy Graham preach in Scotland.

Tom Malone, who is part of the Peterhead churches group which initiated the event, said that it had taken around two years to set up.

“This will be an incredible multi-media, multi-outlet event. Not only are we hosting the live event in Peterhead Academy, but it will be streamed live to churches in Fraserburgh, Banff and Elgin,” he said.

“We are anticipating full houses on each night of the outreach so there will also be overspill venues in the town at St. Andrew’s, the Methodist and Congregational Churches on Queen Street.

“There will also be a special youth night on the Friday night at 7pm with Will Graham and LZ7 in attendance and we have a Facebook page up and running giving further details of that.”

Asked why Peterhead, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s director of European affairs, Hans Mannegren, said: “We have a process that we go through and we work in association with local churches where we see that the unity and concensus is good.

“The Peterhead group is a well organised and very determined group with a very great sense of unity who felt there was a need to proclaim the good news in the town,” he added.