Billy Graham's son urges Christians to pray and vote - DatelineCarolina

Billy Graham's son urges Christians to pray and vote

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William Temple came to the Rev. Franklin Graham's State House prayer rally as Patrick Henry, famous Virginia governor and supporter of the American Revolution. Temple believes there is no separation between church and state. William Temple came to the Rev. Franklin Graham's State House prayer rally as Patrick Henry, famous Virginia governor and supporter of the American Revolution. Temple believes there is no separation between church and state.
Clarice Smalley attended the rally as a Dr. Ben Carson supporter. As a Carson supporter, Smalley said both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are dishonest in their messages. Clarice Smalley attended the rally as a Dr. Ben Carson supporter. As a Carson supporter, Smalley said both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are dishonest in their messages.
Joey Werts, left, came to the S.C. State House to hear the Rev. Franklin Graham. Werts is an undecided voter but said he will support a candidate who believes in the Bible. Joey Werts, left, came to the S.C. State House to hear the Rev. Franklin Graham. Werts is an undecided voter but said he will support a candidate who believes in the Bible.
P.J. Cuba, 18, will be voting for the first time in the 2016 election. He said he’ll likely vote for Dr. Ben Carson or Ted Cruz, who both speak of their strong Christian faith. P.J. Cuba, 18, will be voting for the first time in the 2016 election. He said he’ll likely vote for Dr. Ben Carson or Ted Cruz, who both speak of their strong Christian faith.
Graham, on a 50-state tour to encourage Christians to vote, was cheered on by hundreds at the S.C. State House. Graham, on a 50-state tour to encourage Christians to vote, was cheered on by hundreds at the S.C. State House.

By Jamie Ussery and Andrew Martin

The Rev. Franklin Graham spoke to thousands gathered in front of the State House Tuesday, encouraging South Carolina Christians to participate in politics and vote.

Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham and a national spiritual leader in his own right, is making a 50-state tour to urge Christians to take a stand on issues.

 “We see that our nation is in trouble; it’s in serious trouble. We’re in trouble spiritually, in trouble racially, economically; we’re in trouble politically,” he said. “No political party is going to be able to turn this system around.”

Graham, the son of the Rev. Billy Graham and a national spiritual leader in his own right, is making a 50-state tour to urge Christians to take a stand on issues.

“We see that our nation is in trouble; it’s in serious trouble. We’re in trouble spiritually, in trouble racially, economically; we’re in trouble politically,” he said. “No political party is going to be able to turn this system around.”

Carroll Stephens considers Graham one of the top spiritual leaders in the United States. He believes Graham came to Columbia to persuade people to vote for the presidential candidate that is following Jesus Christ.  For Stephens, that would be Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

“To change America, we’re going to have to get a Christian in Washington, D.C. as a leader,” Stephens said.

Evangelical Christians make up nearly 60 percent of Republicans who are expected to vote in the primary, according to a Winthrop University poll. According to the results, one-in-five evangelicals remain undecided.

Andy Heen, 83, a devoted Christian since 20, thinks Graham wants what is best for the country.

“But a Christian president would be tarred and feathered today,” said Heen. “It is gonna take people turning back to God to change.”

Joey Werts, one of 25 members who came with his Baptist church, believes the biggest issue in the 2016 election is that America is moving away from its Christian-based foundation. Werts is undecided who to vote for but wants someone with Christian beliefs.

There are about 2.7 million registered voters in South Carolina. According to Graham, there were “20 to 30 million Bible-believing Christians” that did not vote in the last election.

Even though Graham believes there should be Christian men and women at every level of government, he said he refrains from endorsing candidates.

“I’m not telling you who to vote for, just vote and pray before you vote,” Graham, who heads up the international non-profit charity, Samaritan’s Purse, said. “Let the spirit of God guide and direct you.”

Clarice Smalley, of Springdale, is an enthusiastic supporter of Dr. Ben Carson, saying the physician Republican is her “first, second and third choice” for president. She said the only contribution Republican Donald Trump has made is to bring attention to issues such as border control.

Joyce Riggs, a member of Lexington Baptist Church since 1984, believes that a Christian leader is needed for the country. She does not believe Trump’s candidacy is based on Christian beliefs.

 “He doesn’t have all the aspects that I look for,” Riggs said.

In her eyes, the country has fallen apart in the last seven and a half years.  She also supports Cruz who she believes he has a strong Christian background and is “calm and collected.”

Graham said the only hope for this country is the “almighty God, and urged “men and women of God to take a stand.”

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