rock the lakes Billy Graham CrusadeThis was clearly a game changer for many and those attending were asking for many more like this please!  

Leicht Park
Green Bay, Wisconsin
August 18 & 19, 2012
Each year, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Organization (BGEO) selects a few sites worldwide to stage an outreach event aimed at bringing the Christian message to the local masses. One of the areas selected this year was Green Bay, Wisconsin. While the event was schedule for two days in August on the banks of the Fox River, near the bay of Green Bay, the event actually began months earlier with organizational meetings and educational classes provided for members of many denominations to act as Christian counselors during and after the event. Over 65 local churches across multiple denominations and many local / regional organizations joined with BGEO to produce and sponsor the event. 

The event itself was held at a large riverside park complete with a large main stage and sound system, a terrific video component with double projection screens flanking the stage for video testimonies and JIT (just-in-time) tweets from those attending the event. Tents hosted by Christian-based organizations, information and prayer tents, a Katrina simulation offering, and refreshment tents lined the outskirts of the area reserved for the audience. Entertainment included eight bands, a number of speakers and video recordings of sports and entertainment personalities giving their testimonies, and other fare. Most importantly and impressively was multiple speaking engagements by Franklin Graham. Graham gave a number of evangelical offerings each day with many in attendance coming to Christ or reestablishing their faith in Him. Franklin is everything his father, Graham, is to evangelism. Tallied numbers following the event provided over 700 saved at this event alone with many more becoming re-engaged in their faith. 

Event entertainment included the following bands with each providing personal testimony while engaging the crowd. Lacey Sturm’s offering was mainly testimonial with the additional of one song having acoustic guitar backing only, a very poignant moment. Skillet threw the late night Saturday crowd into a frenzy with a great message, show, and pyrotechnics.  Sunday’s standout was the band L’Angelus from the Louisiana area giving a rocking, pop/Cajun flavor to hymns and songs of praise and worship. L’Angelus, an extremely musically gifted family group, also backed up Michael W. Smith who wrapped up the event Sunday evening to an emotionally charged crowd. 

Saturday, August 18:

            We As Human
            Lacey Sturm from Flyleaf
            The Afters

Sunday, August 19:

            The City Harmonic
            Lacey Sturm from Flyleaf
            The Afters
            Michael W. Smith 

The event wound down Sunday night with a terrific fireworks display. Unlike a Christian festival, the Rock The Lakes event was tightly focused on evangelism and was successful in its outcome with 15,000 attending Saturday with warm temps and clear skies and an additional 9,000 Sunday with warm temps and a small cloud burst. This was clearly a game changer for many and those attending were asking for many more like this please!

Scott S Mertens