Local church and civic leaders will gather with representatives of The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. to announce and detail plans for the Greater Johnson County Will Graham Celebration, coming to Burleson in May 2008. The announcement of the Celebration will take place at Huguley Memorial Medical Center's Fitness Center Amphitheater in Burleson. The event is free to attend and area pastors and church leaders are encouraged to participate.

Will Graham, son of Franklin Graham and grandson of evangelist Billy Graham, has hosted several evangelistic outreaches around the globe. His upcoming event in Johnson County will be the sixth Will Graham Celebration in North America. Earlier this year, Graham drew a total of 31,230 to his events in Paducah, Ky., Mount Vernon, Ohio, and Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

At the announcement event, representatives from BGEA will officially accept the invitation from local civic and church leaders to hold a Will Graham Celebration in the area. A cross-section of local leadership will attend this meeting to demonstrate their cooperation in the upcoming Greater Johnson County Will Graham Celebration, which is scheduled for May 30 - June 1, 2008 at Burleson High School.

The invitation for Will Graham to hold a Celebration in the area came from a broad-based group of local pastors and leaders.

Those planning to speak at the announcement event include the Honorable Ken Shetter, mayor of Burleson, and the Honorable Ted Reynolds, mayor of Cleburne. Several area church leaders, including Pastors Rick Owens, John Warren, Rick Vasquez, Mike Milburn, Brian Jacobs, Gloria Gillaspie, and Charles Dorsett will also be present. Mr. Don Standley will serve as chairman of the Celebration Executive Committee.

Also at the announcement event, representatives of BGEA will share principles to unite the Greater Johnson County area churches and make a lasting impact on their region.

Those speaking at the event will include BGEA's Director of Crusade Ministries Jeff Anderson, and Celebration Director Jamey Wooten, who will take up residence in Burleson and help to guide the months of preparation leading up to the Celebration.

For more information, contact Erik Ogren at (704) 401-2117 or eogren@bgea.org.