Concluding at Telstra Dome on Sunday afternoon, local newspaper The Age reported a total attendance of over 80,000 among which about 7,000 accepted Graham’s invitation to receive Christ in their lives. Speaking to The Age, festival coordinator Paul Molyneux said that 55 percent or about 3,800 were first-time converts and the rest were people renewing their commitment.
The three days festival has been one of the most massive evangelistic efforts in Melbourne in which 820 mainstream churches across the denominational lines and 10,000 volunteers were involved.
Unlike most of the crusades with their strong charismatic nature, the festival features youth, family-friendly and all-age events; music performances by international and national artists; and testimonies by prominent individuals in addition to the inspiring talks by Franklin Graham.
In 1959, Franklin Graham’s father, Dr Billy Graham, who is an internationally recognised powerful evangelist, first visited Melbourne. Dr Billy Graham drew 143,750 at the MCG. Compared to that, Franklin Graham was greatly pleased with the festival this time.
According to The Age, Franklin Graham said, "It's so different from 1959, because at that time maybe 50 percent of people went to church, but now this country is unchurched."
"To see what happened over the three days, and to have more than 800 churches involved, is tremendous."
He described the Australian audience "very receptive, very warm - delightfully so".
The success of the event can be attributed to the diligent prayers and evangelistic program prior to the festival.
According to Festival coordinator Paul Molyneux, Christians in Melbourne prayed on a "prayer bus" for the festival everyday. Each day a dozen or so people rode the bus to three different locations, where they met with scores of other Christians to pray together. The prayer bus effort was organised by Youth For Christ and a local Christian radio station, Light FM 89.9.
Evangelistic programs are being launched in full range from training people for evangelism to pastoral care of newly confessing members. A program called Operation Andrew has been launched among churches to mobilise active evangelism. It works as church members bring an unchurched person with them to the festival.
Additionally, through the four-week Christian Life and Witness Course, thousands of Christians were renewed in their personal relationship with Christ and shown how to share their faith. Those who make a commitment at the Festival will be contacted once again, and will be guided to become active members of a local church.