Christians gather at Bartow Arena to pray for upcoming Festival of Hope

IMG_9416BIRMINGHAM (TAB) — That people would hear the hope of the gospel. That volunteers, pastors and counselors would be able to help and assist those in need. That the microphones and sound systems would work properly. That Franklin Graham and the other speakers and musicians would be filled by the Holy Spirit to accurately and boldly proclaim Christ’s message.

These, and many others, were the prayers heard inside and outside of Bartow Arena in Birmingham at 7 a.m. on Aug. 14 as Christian leaders, church members and others gathered to pray for the Greater Birmingham Festival of Hope on Aug. 14–16.

Sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the festival will focus on bringing a “quality presentation of the gospel so that people will have the opportunity to hear and respond to it,” according to Robert Tatum, BGEA’s festival director who participated in the prayer gathering.

“We don’t want this to just be a concert or a free event,” Tatum said. “We’ve seen what God is already doing in Birmingham through churches and nonprofits and we are so excited to be a part of what’s already been started here.”

Kevin Moore, executive director of Mission Birmingham, helped organize the prayer gathering. But this wasn’t the first time a group had prayed for the festival — they’ve been praying for months.

Tracy Hipps, executive director of Christian Service Mission, participated in the prayer gathering.

“I believe this is where the Spirit of God is and what He wants us to do. To be about evangelism, about sharing Christ, about living the gospel out,” Hipps said, who attends Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills. He plans to be at the festival and to bring many of his friends that don’t know Christ.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said.

Tatum and Moore noted there are still opportunities to be a part of the on-site prayer teams, where individuals can pray for the section of people where they sit. To sign up, visit greaterbirminghamfestival.org/prayerform or go to Section 109 in Bartow Arena by the time the doors open each night to sign up.

For more information on the festival, visit greaterbirminghamfestival.org.

Look for a full coverage of the festival in the Aug. 27 issue of The Alabama Baptist.
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About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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