Decision America Tar Heel State Tour: Proclaiming Christ in Asheville

The last stop on Franklin Graham’s Decision America Tar Heel State Tour brought 5,350 people to US Cellular Center in one of North Carolina’s most liberal cities. Outside, protestors held signs and shouted crude chants, but inside, thousands lifted their hands high, offering praise and worship to the Lord.  

Franklin, preaching from John 3:1-15, told the story of the Pharisee Nicodemus. 

Nicodemus had asked Jesus how someone could be “born again.” Jesus replied, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

“[Nicodemus] was religious, but he did not have a relationship with God. There are many of you,” Franklin told the audience, “… you’re religious, but you don’t have that relationship with God. You can’t deny it. But I’m going to give you the opportunity before this night is over.”

And 385 people, in the crowd and online, took Franklin up on that opportunity to make a decision for Christ. 

Melissa initially volunteered to be a counselor in Greensboro, but she was so amazed by what God did there, she contacted BGEA and asked if she could be a counselor at the following three stops. In Asheville, she was brought to tears while ministering to 16-year-old Rachel*.

Rachel didn’t know the meaning of true love. She had been sexually assaulted by her best friend’s father, and for so long “love” only led to shame and unworthiness. But Rachel wanted to overcome her past. When Franklin gave the invitation to accept Christ, she decided to grab hold of the redemption that only Jesus can offer. She knew it would be a long process, but with God’s help, her pain could be eased and her soul could be washed clean through the love of Jesus.

“God knows all of our pain,” Melissa told Rachel. “He knows everything that we’re facing, and He is the One who can heal us. He’s the One that can fill the void. It may not happen overnight, but if we keep turning to Him, He’s the One who can strengthen us and make us whole again.”  

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Photo: Thomas J. Petrino/2019 BGEA