Penn Township native joins wife on Billy Graham special

| Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Though filming began a year ago on the “My Hope America with Billy Graham” program, Josh Sturm still pinches himself when he thinks about his and his wife's participation in it.

Sturm, a 2000 Penn-Trafford graduate, plays guitar while his wife, Lacey, sings a new song, “Mercy Tree,” during the half-hour program, which airs tonight, Thursday, through Sunday on Fox News, Trinity Broadcasting Network and local television stations.

Sturm, who works for his family's Harrison City plumbing business, said it's hard to put into words what their participation in Graham's final sermon means to him.

“It's still kind of blowing my mind, and I don't think I'll know the full answer until I see it on television,” said Sturm, 31, who now lives on Pittsburgh's South Side.

The Billy Graham Evangelical Association bills the program as the last in a series of “crusades” that the world-renowned, 95-year-old Graham has held since the late 1940s to encourage people to accept Jesus as their savior.

Graham's new program focuses on Lacey Sturm — the former lead singer of the rock band Flyleaf — and hip-hop artist Lecrae.

Lacey Sturm's faith journey began when she was considering suicide as a 16-year-old. She changed her mind after attending a church service with her grandmother in Mississippi.

“Really, I'm just telling the story of why I'm alive,” said Lacey Sturm, 32. “If I didn't have that encounter with God, I wouldn't be here.”

Lacey Sturm's participation in the program grew out of her sharing her story during the “Rock the River” music tour after she was pregnant with her first child and unable to give a rock performance.

Her husband said her story has helped a lot of fans who are struggling with depression.

“I hear the story a few hundred times a year, and I still get choked up,” Josh Sturm said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or

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