Three crosses silhouetted at sunset.

Did Franklin Graham Say ‘America Will Not Come Back’ in Jacksonville?

This claim reappears periodically and is accurately attributed to evangelist Franklin Graham.

Graham, chief executive officer of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, delivered the remarks at the Jacksonville Pastors’ Conference in January of 2015:

America has changed, and it’s not coming back unless the church takes a stand. There are storms that are coming. We find ourselves in these storms, and many times we as church run, and we run to the wrong place. You see, Jesus is in the boat. All we have to do is call him. Call his name. But the secularist and the humanists, you mention the name of Christ, and they jump all over you.

While Graham did say this, it’s not clear how he and his followers square that with the Founding Fathers’ views on freedom of religion.

Also included in a forwarded email about the speech is an essay that went viral shortly after President Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012. Both the essay and Franklin Graham’s speech talk generally about secularism and the purported persecution of Christians in the United States, but they are otherwise unrelated.

The essay (which was not written by Graham) added that President Obama’s re-election was the “final nail in the coffin for the legacy of the white Christian males” who supposedly were responsible for settling the United States.

The essay doesn’t list an author, but most versions say that an unnamed Marine veteran wrote it. We were unable to verify who wrote it.