GASTONIA, N.C., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The Rev. Will Graham, grandson of famed evangelist Billy Graham, has kicked off his first U.S. crusade in Gastonia, N.C.
Graham, whose father, Franklin, is also a well known international evangelist, spoke before a crowd estimated to number 5,000 Monday at the Greater Gaston Celebration, The Washington Times reported. Graham had previously led crusades in Canada and India.
"This is a significant event for Christians, since it is Will Graham's first-ever crusade in this country, and the name, Graham, is to crusades what Microsoft is to finance," the Rev. Austin Rammell, who attended Liberty University with Will Graham and invited him to participate in the celebration, told the Times.
He said Graham was selected to speak at the event after a member of the planning board heard him speak at a Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville.
Graham previously led crusades in Canada and India.
"Whether I am speaking to 10 or 10,000 people, I'm just excited to tell them about Jesus," Will Graham said to the Times. "We've all sinned but sins can be forgiven. I want to give that message of hope to people."