Conservative evangelical Reverend Franklin Graham brings Decision America tour to Berkeley

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Conservative evangelical Franklin Graham brought his Decision America tour to Berkeley on Friday night. People gathered to hear his message a Bay Area reverend and civil rights leader led a rally to denounce Graham's teachings.

"God hears prayer. God answers prayer. You know our country is so screwed up," said Graham from the stage set-up in Berkeley's Cesar Chavez Park.

Berkeley is one of two Bay Area stops on Graham's 10 location tour of California.

RELATED: SF Beyonce mass puts 'Halo' on delighted audiences

Graham said his staff advised him to avoid Berkeley because of the city's progress reputation. "Everybody said, 'don't go to Berkeley' and they say don't come, I'm gonna come," said Graham.

Graham's name draws a crowd. His late father was the well-known evangelical Reverend Billy Graham.

"Years ago I was saved at his father's crusade and I came out just to volunteer," said Annette Sunde, a San Jose resident.

The event was set up more like a festival concert than a sermon with a large crowd in the meadow and a Christian rock band played before Graham spoke.

The group, Refuse Fascism, says Graham encourages his followers to support President Donald Trump.

RELATED: Religious groups protest ICE raids in NorCal

"Franklin Graham is gathering blind and obedient fervent followers for that regime and it's extremely dangerous," said Barry Thornton of Refuse Fascism.
Graham says he never campaigned for Trump.

"Let's go penetrate the blue wall, not for politics, but the blue wall represents secularism. Let's penetrate the blue wall for Jesus Christ that's what I'm here to do," said Graham.

Reverend Amos Brown of San Francisco's Third Baptist Church denounces Graham's conservative preaching.

"To reverend Mr. Franklin Graham we know how to pray. You don't need to tell us how to come together and pray," said Brown.

Berkeley police had extra officers on hand for the event.

For more stories, photos, and video on religion, visit this page.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.