Willie Foggs has gone with his wife, Lorraine, to church ever since they married 21 years ago. They’ve raised their son and three daughters in church. Willie actually professed Jesus once, but even at the time, he knew he wasn’t serious.
But on Oct. 2 at the Pitt County American Legion Agricultural Fairgrounds in Greenville, North Carolina, Willie was ready to get serious with God.
He listened intently, along with 13,800 others, to Franklin Graham preach about the value of the human soul. The crowd sat in lawn chairs, fanning away the heat, during the second stop of the Decision America Tar Heel State Tour.
The Bible says the soul is worth more than the whole world, Franklin said, preaching from Mark 8:36-37.
“Let’s say you could own all the technology in the world. You had all the Samsung televisions, and you had all the Apple computers and Apple iPhones … You had all of the real estate of New York City, all the currency, all of the military power … your soul is worth more than all of that, the Bible says. One soul is worth more than the whole world.”
The message struck a chord with Willie, and he wanted to make things right with God. He wanted to be a better husband, and he was concerned for the souls of his son and three daughters.
“They go to church with us, but they haven’t made a decision yet,” he said. “Maybe I can encourage them since I’ve given my life over to Him.”
The message also resonated with a young girl who was standing not far from Counselor Tammy Tolar. Tammy noticed the girl stood when Franklin gave the invitation, and the look on her face pulled at Tammy’s heart, so she walked over and asked, “Can you tell me why you came tonight?”
“I came to have fun with my dad,” the girl said.
But clearly, something was happening in the 12-year-old’s heart.
“She wasn’t crying, but her eyes were definitely teary,” Tammy said. “I asked her if she wanted to accept Christ, and she said, ‘Yes!’”
Excited to lead someone to Christ, Tammy explained the Gospel to the girl. She reiterated what Franklin had said, that Jesus came to earth to die for our sins—her sins, that He wants to walk with her and help her make good decisions.
“I told her she would make mistakes, but she would have somebody to help her,” Tammy said. “She was so sincere. You can tell when they’re sincere—especially the children.”
Photo: Thomas J. Petrino/2019 BGEA