Festival of Hope bringing Mon-Yough churches together
Mon-Yough area churches and religious organizations are among those taking part in next weekend's Franklin Graham Three Rivers Festival of Hope at Consol Energy Center.
“We've been praying and planning about this for several months, and the momentum is building,” said Donald O. Black, CEO of Wall-based Cornerstone TeleVision and WPCB-40.
“The festival offers a tremendous opportunity to share the love of God through Jesus Christ in a way that all ages can understand,” said Black, whose broadcast ministry is a sponsor for the Aug. 15-17 event.
The festival begins on the first two nights at 7 and 4 p.m. on Aug. 17.
On Friday, Kari Jobe, The City Harmonic, Tenth Avenue North, Dennis Agajanian and Tommy Coomes Band will provide the music.
Lecrae, Lacey, We as Human, Tedashii, Graham Saber, Dennis Agajanian and Tommy Coomes Band are scheduled on Aug. 16.
Michael W. Smith, Charlie Daniels Band, Aaron Shust, Dennis Agajanian and Tommy Coomes Band are scheduled for the closing event on Aug. 17.
Franklin Graham will give a message at each gathering and conduct an altar call.
Many remember the 1993 Billy Graham crusade at Three Rivers Stadium. Cornerstone's Black had a conversion experience years before watching Franklin Graham's father.
“When I was 8 years old, I said the sinner's prayer with Billy Graham on television and came to love God,” Black said. “Millions of individuals across this nation can say they discovered the Lord in the same way — so we know this Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham will make a huge difference.”
Cornerstone and WPCB plan coverage of all three days of the festival, recording brief segments to offer on the station's “RealLife” program.
“I really see or expect to see quite a few people coming to Christ,” said the Rev. Earlene Coleman, pastor of McKeesport's Bethlehem Baptist Church. “I really expect to see a spiritual change within our Mon Valley.”
Coleman was involved early, attending the first breakfast for area pastors by festival organizers.
“I have two or three of my members that are part of it,” Coleman said. “They've been attending the meetings and one has been doing some evangelism.”
“There are 500 plus churches involved, 48 denominations,” said Rose Somma-Tennent, one-time WPCB producer who works on the communications team for the festival. “It has been so exciting to see how many people can work together.”
From this area, churches from Ardara Presbyterian in North Huntingdon Township to Oasis Ministries in West Mifflin are represented.
“All of the ministerial team is involved,” said Oasis elder Terina Hicks of Swissvale, who is part of the festival communications team, as well. “We will all be counselors.” That includes Bishop Ray and Pastor Kim Lankford, whose church occupies the former Knights of Columbus hall in West Mifflin.
Catholic participation has been notable alongside that of Protestant churches. Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh diocese is scheduled to give a welcome on the third night of the festival.
“We have more collaboration and people working together among the Catholics and Protestants than the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has experienced in other places across the country,” said Cindy Scott, another volunteer working with communications for the festival.
The Pittsburgh diocese plans a welcome center for Catholics next door to Consol Energy Center at Epiphany Church. The Diocese of Greensburg said it will have “faith formation” efforts.
No tickets are required and seating is first come, first served each night.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Santa’s visit to North Versailles hardware store marks milestone on Small Business Saturday
- Renzie Park gets more local sales tax revenue in $96.9M Regional Asset District budget
- After 27 years, Clairton emerges from state ‘financially distressed’ status
- Former McKeesport resident donates to heritage center children’s raffle
- Elizabeth council OKs Act 537 resolution for municipal authority
- Suspect in Glassport man’s shooting death put on house arrest
- Fire breaks out for 3rd time in abandoned McKeesport house
- McKeesport Area discusses easier access of public documents