CLARKSVILLE, Tennessee–Thousands of people turned out in Clarksville Thursday evening to hear Franklin Graham say that America’s only hope is to turn back to God.
The Christian evangelist spoke at the Liberty Park amphitheatre as part of his Decision America Tennessee Tour. He was in Chattanooga on Monday and will be in Jackson on Friday and Memphis on Sunday.
Some people arrived more than two hours ahead of time to find good seats and more poured in later.
“Wow, this is impressive,” Graham said as he surveyed the crowd while answering questions from the media before the start of the event.
Graham told reporters that many Christians are being led astray today and that one of the reasons for that is they don’t know the Bible. Pastors need to get back to preaching straight from the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, he said.
“Read the Bible,” he said. “Know the word of God.”
Graham said there is no special strategy for reaching people of different age groups. Everyone needs the same thing, and that’s the gospel message, he said.
Graham touched on the same themes during his speech to the crowd during which he led prayers of confession and a prayer for government leaders in Washington, D.C., and in Tennessee.
Dove Award-winning singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp sang at the event, exciting the audience with his well-known worship songs. The event closed with a short fireworks display.
Graham last year toured all 50 state capitals to encourage people to pray, vote and engage in the political process. This year he’s aiming to reach people in smaller and mid-sized cities and to support local churches in their efforts to create enthusiasm for the Bible and for prayer.