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Rev. Franklin Graham begins tour of America’s ‘overwhelmed’ southern border states: ‘People need hope’


FIRST ON FOX: Rev. Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association kicked off a 10-stop, 1,500-mile tour of America’s southern border this weekend, aiming to bring a “life-changing message of hope” to the struggling residents of border towns in Texas, Arizona and California.

The God Loves You Frontera Tour began in Brownsville, Texas, on Saturday, Fox News Digital was told via original statements and a press release from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association late on Saturday. 

Graham is president and CEO of the group. The Spanish word frontera means border.

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“We are coming to the southern border because it is one of the neediest areas of our country at this time, and people need to hear a message of hope,” said Graham in comments to Fox News Digital.

The border area, he said, “is overwhelmed.” 

Franklin Graham at podium

Franklin Graham said the purpose of his tour of America’s southern border is to “spread hope” to these “overwhelmed” areas of the United States. He’s seen here at right along with translator David Ruiz, left.   (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

“Everyone along the border is overwhelmed — the churches, the law enforcement agencies, the residents, those there trying to help, as well as the people coming into our country,” said Graham. 

“There are a lot of hungry hearts and hurting people, so I’m coming to the border to tell everyone about God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and how He can make a difference in our lives if we put our faith and our trust in Him.”

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Steve Dorman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Brownsville, said his city is one of the poorest in the United States.

Brownsville “is quite transitory since it is located on the Texas-Mexico border,” Dorman said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. 

“We want everyone in this community to know that God is always with them and loves them, and the Gospel can be a stabilizing force to help them in their lives.”

crowd of people in rows in front of screens

An estimated 3,800 people attended the God Loves You Frontera Tour’s first event in Brownsville, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 24. “We want everyone in this community to know that God is always with them and loves them,” said Pastor Steve Dorman of First Baptist Church in Brownsville.  (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

Throughout the tour, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said it will partner with over 1,000 churches in an effort to “reach their communities with a message of God’s love.”

The planned events will feature a message from Graham, plus live music — and will serve to “offer hope to the hopeless, purpose to the lost and redemption to the broken,” said Abraham Moreno, pastor of Calvary Chapel in McAllen in comments shared with Fox News Digital. 

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McAllen is the second stop on Graham’s tour. 

The message of the tour is one that “heals wounds, restores broken lives and provides a way for people to experience a personal relationship with God’s Son, Jesus Christ,” said Moreno. 

“Tonight I want you to know that you can have a personal relationship with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.” 

Speaking on Saturday, Graham told the assembled crowd from the stage, “Tonight I want you to know that you can have a personal relationship with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.” 

He also said, “If you don’t remember anything else, remember this: God loves you.”

Franklin Graham speaking at dais

Franklin Graham kicked off the “God Loves You Frontera Tour” on Saturday, February 24, in Brownsville, Texas. David Ruiz (left) translated the event into Spanish.  (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

Graham also told the crowd, “The Bible says that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

He said, “Jesus came to save sinners. He bled and died on a cross for you. He went to the grave. He took your sins to the grave, but on the third day He rose to life.” Graham continued.

“Your sins can be forgiven tonight, you can be set free — but you’ve got to come His way and that’s through Jesus Christ.”

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Graham addressed the hopelessness that many people feel right now. 

“Maybe you feel hopeless tonight. Maybe you’ve come here hoping that something could happen that could change your life,” he said.

Marcos Witt holding a book and microphone

Marcos Witt at the Brownsville, Texas, stop of the God Loves You Frontera Tour with Rev. Franklin Graham, which just kicked off on Saturday. Witt, an American Christian music singer and pastor, was born in San Antonio, Texas.  (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

He added, “There’s no hope except Jesus Christ.”

The tour started at the Gulf of Mexico and will go all the way to the Pacific, where it will end in Chula Vista, California, said the organization.

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In exclusive comments to Fox News Digital, Rev. Graham addressed the latest incident of migrant crime in this country that has grabbed national attention. 

Laken Riley, a college nursing student, was found dead several days ago on the campus of the University of Georgia. 

On Friday, 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra was charged with murder. Ibarra is a Venezuelan national who crossed illegally into El Paso, Texas, in Sept. 2022 and was released into the U.S. via parole, three ICE & DHS sources told Fox News.  

“My heart and prayers go out to the family in Georgia who lost their daughter in this senseless killing.”

“Many tragic things are happening to the citizens of our country as well as [to] the migrants along the border because of our politicians’ failure to enforce the law,” Graham told Fox News Digital. 

“My heart and prayers go out to the family in Georgia who lost their daughter in this senseless killing.”

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The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was founded in 1950 by evangelist Billy Graham

It works to “share the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world,” says its website.

Franklin Graham was appointed CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 2000. He was named its president the following year. 

Fox News Digital’s Audrey Conklin, Michael Ruiz and Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed reporting.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle



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