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Franklin Graham Meets Donald Trump While Preaching the Gospel on Tour of Border Towns

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During his 10-city God Loves You Frontera tour along America’s southern border, Franklin Graham has been sharing the gospel with people who “need to hear a message of hope.” Speaking in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Feb. 28, the evangelist said he wanted to set aside politics and let people know “God hasn’t forgotten them, we haven’t forgotten them, and we’re going to do all we can to try to help.”

Graham spoke Wednesday at Shelby Park, which the state of Texas recently seized in efforts to stop illegal border crossings. “Pray for Texas, pray for this border, pray for Mexico,” he told listeners. “So many people are coming with hungry hearts, hurting hearts. They don’t know where to go, what to do, and they’re looking for just an opportunity at life.” People can have new life, Graham added, “by putting their faith and trust in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.”

The evangelist, 71, said the border crisis represents “one of the best opportunities for us to be able to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to people on the border.”

Franklin Graham: People Are ‘Overwhelmed’

In Eagle Pass, Franklin Graham acknowledged the strain caused by large numbers of immigrants entering the United States. “People down here are discouraged,” he said. “I’m talking about the local people, the Texans that live here. It’s tough. The border patrols are having a tough time, the state of Texas law enforcement is having a tough time. The people that live here are overwhelmed.”

Graham’s 10-city tour began Feb. 25 in Brownsville, Texas, and will conclude Mar. 9 in Chula Vista, California. The word frontera means “border” in Spanish. According to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, of which Franklin Graham is president and CEO, so far more than 20,000 people have attended a free tour event.

Meanwhile, about the same number of people signed a petition urging tour organizers to back out due to Graham’s conservative political views. The evangelist has denied he’s visiting border towns because it’s an election year. But on Feb. 29, he shared a photo of himself at an airport, shaking hands with former president and 2024 Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. “Look who I ran into at the border today! @realDonaldTrump was a great encouragement to many here,” Graham wrote.

Some commenters criticized the post. “Franklin, are you trying to make your followers think this was a spontaneous meeting?” one person wrote. “Your entire tour is designed to support Trump! Do you think your followers are so uneducated that they’ll fall for adolescent level narcissistic manipulation tactics?” Other people told Graham they’re praying for him and his tour.

President Biden also visited the southern border on Feb. 29.

Pastors Near the Border Offer Insights

Throughout Franklin Graham’s tour, local pastors have been speaking out about conditions in America’s border towns. Gilberto Herrera, pastor of Roca Firme Christian Community Church in Eagle Pass, said many people feel hopeless and are “turning to the wrong things to solve their problems.” He added that Graham’s message “has the power to change lives, families, and our community.”