“I’m 75 percent Scottish, so I kind of feel like I’ve come home,” said evangelist Will Graham on Tuesday morning, having arrived in Peterhead just 24 hours earlier
He’s in town to host the Celebration of Hope at Peterhead Academy, every evening from October 5 to 9 - his only Scottish date.
Mr Graham, who will begin the first of his five-night outreach meetings tonight (Wednesday) in Peterhead, had planned to arrive on Saturday morning, but his travel was delayed due to the death of his maternal grandmother.
“I wish I could stay longer. I tried to get here earlier. I was hoping to see more of my old kin folk, my Scottish roots here," he said.
To some extent, Mr Graham’s short time in Scotland thus far has literally felt like home to him. He lives in the mountains of North Carolina, a relatively cool area which he says is somewhat similar to the Highlands of Scotland.
But as one listens to him talk about his travel schedule however, it’s hard to believe that he’s ever home.
“I’ve been several places this year,” he said. “I’ve preached in China, which is very interesting. My grandmother Ruth – Billy Graham’s wife – was born in China, so in the eyes of the Chinese people, she’s Chinese and I’m Chinese. So I’ve actually been able to preach openly there," he said.
“I did one Celebration in the United States. I’ve held events in Australia, Uganda, and we did a tour in Norway this summer.”
It’s clear that Mr Graham is excited for what’s ahead this week in Peterhead, and he credits the hard work of area churches who have spent several months preparing for the Celebration of Hope.
“The people here in Peterhead have been praying a long time and asking God to touch their community in a special way. They’ve been praying for their neighbors and their friends and their co-workers and their family members,” said Graham.
“We see God working here. There is a lot of excitement here; more excitement than maybe any of my other evangelistic outreaches that we’ve done this year.
"This one seems to be a real special one. There’s been a lot of hard work from the local churches, and there’s a lot of excitement. I’ve heard a lot of really good things.”
Mr Graham is ready to bring his message of hope and purpose to Peterhead, as well as Live Link Locations in Fraserburgh, Banff and Elgin.
“I believe a lot of people are worried about the future, the long-term future. Tensions are rising. Something’s got to give,” he said.
“I want to tell people about Christ while there’s still time. The cure for the anxiety that people are feeling, the uncertainty of life. The purpose of life can be found in Jesus Christ.”
He added:, “We’re going to have some great music, some testimonies, and then I’m going to get up every night and tell people about how they can find their place, purpose and meaning in life through the work of Jesus Christ.
"I believe that Jesus is the hope for every person in this world, and I just want the people here in Peterhead to know that.”
Will Graham will be hosting live outreach meetings in Peterhead Academy each night from 7pm to 9pm with music from 6.30pm. Admission is free.
Music will be provided by New Scottish Hymns Band, LZ7, Ranan, Mark Stevens, Mark Christian and more.
Live links will be held in the Assemblies of God in Fraserburgh, River Church in Banff and Oasis Hub in Elgin.
Overspill venues in Peterhead will be provided at St. Andrew's Church, Methodist Church and Congregational Church, all on the town's Queen Street.
For further information, visit the website: www.celebrationofhope.co.uk