Saturday, June 29, 2002

Slow donations threaten shortfall




By Howard Wilkinson hwilkinson@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With two days to go, local Billy Graham mission organizers say they are in danger of falling short of the nearly $1 million they hope to collect from offerings at the nightly services.

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A mission goer passes the offertory bucket toward Chuck Catanese, an usher from Independence, Ky.
(Tony Jones photo)
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        “We need to do a lot better,” said the Rev. Damon Lynch Jr., a local co-chairman of the four-day Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Billy Graham mission. “We don't want to end up with a deficit.”

        Organizers say the total cost of the mission at Paul Brown Stadium is $2.8 million. They had hoped that the nightly offerings, in which ushers go up and down the aisles with large plastic buckets for donations, would raise $935,000.

        But smaller-than-expected crowds have slowed the fund raising. The first night's take was only about $170,000.

        Numbers for Friday night were not available.

        The Rev. Mr. Lynch of New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Carthage delivered the offertory message at Friday's service, attended by an estimated 37,000 people. He made it clear that the need is great and asked people to dig deep.

        “Billy Graham doesn't take home one dime,” the Rev. Mr. Lynch said in his prayer. “There's a belief that Billy Graham is going to make a lot of money and leave town. It's not true ... I sign all of the checks; I know where every dime is going.”

       



Click through photo gallery
Audience relishes chance to witness historic giant
Excerpts of Graham's sermon
What you need to know about today's services
Young people find a welcome
- Slow donations threaten shortfall
Star of Christian music hurts for her hometown
RADEL: Don't limit your prayers to stadium
Mission Memories
Stadium only one mission location
Bengals stadium shop does brisk business
Liquor stores, bars slow despite crowds
Complete Mission details in our special section