Evangelist Will Graham has completed five consecutive days of preaching the Gospel in Peterhead, with more than 4,800 attended the North East Scotland Celebration of Hope.
The Celebration utilised an auditorium at Peterhead Academy, with overflow seating elsewhere in the school and in nearby churches. The event was also simulcast to Live Link Locations in the nearby towns of Fraserburgh, Banff, and Elgin.
Additionally, three evenings of the Celebration of Hope were live-streamed around the world via webcast. A total of 5,240 visitors from 77 different countries logged on to view the Celebration, and 152 registered commitments to Christ.
“Absolutely wonderful and sensational. Obviously it has exceeded our expectations, but – at the same time – fulfilled them, because we were believing for this," said Tom Malone, who was the chairman of the local Celebration executive committee. “To see so many people responding, it is absolutely fantastic."
Hans Mannegren, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s celebration director who helped to guide the effort in Peterhead, added: “The churches have been incredibly supportive and engaged the whole time, and the prayer that has been invested in the Celebration of Hope was exceptional. I feel blessed to be a part of this”.
The North East Scotland Celebration of Hope was Graham’s first time preaching in Scotland, and marked a homecoming of sorts for the evangelist. His ancestry is three-quarters Scottish, with forefathers from the Graham, Bell and Cunningham clans hailing from the country. He had visited the country once prior, when his father, Franklin Graham, preached in Perth in 1999.
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 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.