McLouth parishioners flocking to crusade
The Billy Graham Heart of America Crusade will be showcased at the more than 70,000-seat Arrowhead Stadium next month.
And the McLouth Church of the Nazarene plans to have a strong contingent at the four-day event.
Sherry Alterman, who is the secretary at the McLouth church, said the church is offering transportation to the event, which will run Oct. 7-10.
"We've received quite a few phone calls," Alterman said.
People from Winchester, Oskaloosa and McLouth have signed up thus far. The church already has 40 people signed up for the Oct. 9 trip and 25 to 30 for the Oct. 8 jaunt.
Alterman also expects more people from the Church of the Nazarene to sign up.
Schedule of events
Oct. 7 7-9 p.m. Music: Lynda Randle, Salvador.
Oct. 8 7-9 p.m. Music: Charlie Daniels Band, Mercy Me. Testimony: Gary Spani of the Kansas City Chiefs
Oct. 9 10 a.m. Kid's Mix featuring Nana Puddin', Wheels of Freestyle and Sandtown. 6:30 p.m. Music: Youth Special "A Concert for Your Generation", featuring Third Day, Michael Tait and Sandtown. Testimony: Michael Waltrip, NASCAR driver
Oct. 10 4 p.m. Music: Michael W. Smith, The Gaither Vocal Band. Testimony: Peter Herschend, co-owner of Silver Dollar City.
"They're going to wait until the last minute," Alterman said. "They know they're going to go. They just haven't signed up yet."
Admission is free for the four-day event, but seating is on a first-come basis.
The McLouth Church of the Nazarene was granted parking passes for the event. Without a pass, parking costs $9 per vehicle.
"It's just safer to drive with a large group rather than your own vehicle and we just wanted to get people who want to go who didn't have transportation the opportunity to go," Alterman said.
The four-day event will bring music and testimonials to those in attendance. Billy Graham also speak every night of the crusade.
The Charlie Daniels Band and Michael W. Smith will perform, while former Kansas State and Kansas City Chief linebacker Gary Spani will give a testimonial. NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip also is expected to give testimony at the event.
Alterman said the Oct. 9 lineup should be the best. It will be teen night at Arrowhead Stadium.
"My husband is looking forward to going there," Alterman said. "A lot of really good music, and of course, Billy Graham.
"He loves Third Day. We've seen them in concert probably six times. They are amazing."
Musical performers Third Day, Michael Tait and Sandtown will be performing during the youth special.
The crusade will bring people from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Graham last was in Kansas City for a crusade in 1978 that attracted 143,000 to Kemper Arena and Royals Stadium. He also had meetings in St. Louis in 1953 and 1973. A 1967 gathering in Kansas City brought 364,000 people to Municipal Stadium that year.
Last year, a crusade in San Diego attracted 270,000 and the Oklahoma City crusade last June brought 102,000.
Alterman said next month's crusade would mark the first time she sees Graham.
"I have never been, so I am really looking forward to it," Alterman said.
The church secretary also was selected to be a child counselor Saturday at the crusade.
"I think it's quite an honor to be picked because I'm sure they had thousands and thousands of applications," Alterman said. "It blew me away. It's a huge honor.
"I'm glad to be out doing God's will. Leading people to Jesus, that's what I like to do."
Another church member, Steve Smith, also was chosen to be a counselor.
Graham originally was scheduled for a Kansas City crusade this summer, but a fall sidelined him and the crusade was rescheduled for October.