Forget the football chants and the chart-topping numbers, this weekend Falkirk Stadium will be resounding to an entirely different tune.
In recent years, during the close season, the hallowed turf has played host to music acts, everyone from Rod Stewart to Little Mix who will be appearing next month.
But for three nights from tomorrow (Friday), the music that will be playing will be all have one theme – Christian love and fellowship.
The Will Graham Celebration of Hope brings the grandson of American evangelist Dr Billy Graham to town and just like his famous relative did when he brought his crusades to Scotland in 1955 and 1991, he will be preaching from the bible.
On the eve of his visit, Will said: “I’m going to be sharing how people’s lives can be changed through the power and the work of Jesus Christ. It’s open to the family and it’s a free event. There will be great music, and then I’m going to tell people about Jesus Christ and how He can change their lives.
“Jesus has the answer to our problems today. The same problems that Scotland faces are very similar to the ones that people in the United States face; people today in other countries and people around the world face. These are common issues, and I want to talk about how Christ can speak into someone’s life, give them hope, give them purpose, and give them meaning. For those who are tired of their guilt and shame, looking for salvation, looking for forgiveness, they can find that in the person of Jesus Christ.”
The reason he is coming to Falkirk is not by chance. Following a visit to Peterhead two years ago, he was asked to come here.
Will explained: “Anywhere my grandfather’s gone, anywhere my father has gone, and anywhere that I go, we only come at an invitation. So, we’ve been invited by the people there in Falkirk to come.”
Churches across the district have been preparing for the Celebration of Hope for several months and, helped by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, began outreach work which will continue long after Will Graham has headed back across the Atlantic.
“We bring 70 years of experience and help the churches to reach their community for Jesus Christ. When people make decisions for Christ, we refer them back to the churches that are involved in the celebration. Not only do they make a decision for Christ, but we want to follow up through the local church so they start to grow in their relationship with Jesus. We want them to become fully-committed Christians reaching other people for Jesus Christ, and that only can be done through the local church.”
Speaking about his vision for the Celebration of Hope, Will added: “Our job is to get the word out, pray for our friends and invite them to come so that they have an opportunity to hear the message. But at the end of the day, God’s got to call people forward to make a commitment to Him.”
xThe Will Graham Celebration of Hope begins at 7pm on Friday when Aaron Shust will be providing the music.
Saturday sees a KidzFest programme in the morning for children, then at 7pm Will is joined by rock band The Afters.
The closing service will be headlined by The Newsboys.
Will said: “The bands help me do something that I cannot do, and that is sing. I cannot sing. There’s not a Graham in my family that can sing. We can preach, but we don’t sing.
“At the same time, we know that music is very important to people. It helps prepare our hearts, it leads us in worship, and we want artists that will help facilitate that.
“The bands we have coming to Falkirk are some of the best Christian artists in the world, and they are committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“They are committed to evangelism.”