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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Graham speaks at Miner Baptist Church event

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SIKESTON -- If you weren't at the Miner Baptist Church last night, you missed out but still have two more chances to hear a very special speaker: Will Graham.

"It was very good -- very, very good," said Heather DeWitt, a lifelong member of the church. "He spoke, obviously, about salvation, which Billy Graham always preaches about in his sermons. He spoke of the Bible, spoke of the Genesis. He was very funny; inspiring."

"Will is the grandson of Billy Graham -- he is the son of Franklin Graham," said Jim Barnhart, associate pastor at Miner Baptist Church. "Will is the youngest of the Grahams that are doing evangelistic events. He is the assistant director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C."

Graham is the featured guest for the church's event which runs through Wednesday. "It's a mega-evangelistic event," Barnhart said. "This will be a life-changing experience."

While the Miner Baptist Church typically brings guest evangelists in once or twice per year including various presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, the congregation is "very excited" to have Graham here, Barnhart said: "He is one of the top-tier evangelists."

"I'm going every night - I don't want to miss it," DeWitt said, "What an awesome opportunity to hear someone speak like this -- he is such a man of God! I think it's a great opportunity to hear him, I think he has the potential to be the next Billy Graham."

Barnhart said he first heard Will Graham speak at at the Southern Baptist Convention in 2005.

"I was impressed with him," Barnhart said. "After hearing him speak, I spoke with our senior pastor, Mitch Jackson, and said we need to invite him to speak as he is the next up-and-coming evangelist of the Graham family. We invited him in July of 2005 and he was already booked up until this date."

In addition to Graham speaking about "salvation through Jesus Christ," Barnhart said, "there will be also music each night -- it will basically be music and preaching."

The Miner's church band "Soulfire" led the music Monday, according to Barnhart.

"Darryl Griggs will lead the music Tuesday and Wednesday," Barnhart said. "Darryl Griggs is our regular music leader."

Last night was youth night and included games and a pizza party. "Wednesday night will be a family night," Barnhart said. "We're encouraging families to attend."

"I just think everybody should at least come out one night to hear him," DeWitt said. "There's a lot of people who aren't into going to church, but this is different. They should take the opportunity to listen to him, see what he's about."