by: Blair Miller Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Renowned religious leaders and top political names are gathering to celebrate the 95th birthday of Rev. Billy Graham.
A crowd of hundreds will watch the debut of a new message the reverend is sharing.
This will be one of few public appearances Graham has made this year.
In April, he attended a memorial service to remember his beloved friend George Beverly Shea.
Graham is using Thursday night’s celebration to share his hope for the world.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association crated a special video which they have encouraged people worldwide to watch with friends, family and neighbors.
That is exactly what one family in south Charlotte is planning to do.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: Billy Graham 95th birthday celebration
The Salter family is taking Graham’s request seriously and is busy preparing food for everyone coming to their home to watch the video.
They have invited all 40 families from their neighborhood.
“When you see someone like Billy Graham who has lived his whole life, putting it on the line, boldly proclaiming the gospel, that when he asks other believers to invite their friends over to hear a message that he has put together, that’s the least we could do,” said husband Chip Salter.
“We knocked on doors this past weekend and met some new neighbors and said we’re having a gathering of our neighbors we would love for you to join us for appetizers, dessert and Billy Graham,” said wife Chris Salter.
The Salters are longtime followers of Graham. They even volunteered at his 1996 crusade in Charlotte.
IMAGES: Scenes from Billy Graham Library on Thursday
They believe the new video, “The Cross,” has a message that should be heard far and wide.
“It’s incredibly powerful,” Chip said.
The couple has already shared the video with their 8-year-old twin daughter.
Now, they are ready to share it with dozens of their neighbors, which is exactly what the Graham organization was hoping for.
“When we heard about this opportunity, we prayed about it and thought this was something that we needed to do,” said Chip.