More than 500 people ask to begin a relationship with Christ

“Jesus is the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world,” said Will Graham. “Sin leads you away from God. Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Have you asked Jesus to come into your life and asked him for forgiveness of your sins?”

That was his message to more than 5,100 people who attended the “Black Hills Paha Sapa Celebration with Will Graham.” It was held over three days, Sept. 24 – 26, in Rapid City, at The Monument.

Approximately 350 people responded to Graham’s invitation to begin a relationship with Christ over the course of the weekend. In addition to those in attendance, the Celebration services were broadcast online, with thousands of views around the world. More than 180 indicated a decision for Christ through the livestream. Those names, where a Catholic preference was indicated, were sent to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rapid City.

According to Brett Eckert, Evangelization director at the cathedral, “We received 91 names from the Celebration team. We then connected some of those people with the appropriate churches. For us, we saw that many of the individuals who came forward were already active within their parish.”

“I have had conversations with some of the follow up teams at different parishes and they informed me that some of the names they received were those who had fallen away. It is really hard to pinpoint exactly how many were fallen away or those interested in a newfound relationship with Christ,” Eckert said. The names were shared with Blessed Sacrament Church in Rapid City and Our Lady of the Black Hills in Piedmont. At the cathedral and Blessed Sacrament Church a welcome reception was held, and people were steered into Alpha classes to learn about Christianity.

Graham was joined for the Black Hills Paha Sapa Celebration by award-winning and up-and-coming Christian artists, including Kari Jobe, Lacey Sturm, FLAME, Cochren & Co., and The Afters.

The Celebration marked the last large-scale concert in Don Barnett Arena. A state-of-the-art venue , called The Summit, is being constructed within the same complex and is slated to open soon. The first event ever held at Don Barnett Arena was one of Elvis Presley’s final concerts, a point which Graham referenced in his first sermon. “This building began with the King of Rock, and it’s ending with the King of Kings,” Graham said.