When most people hear the term bachelor party, the Billy Graham Library isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind.
But for a group of young men from the Raleigh, North Carolina, area, it only seemed natural.
Blake Stansell, the groom, along with his younger brother Hunter and childhood friends John-Mark Hales, Kohl Powell and Dylan Talley decided to celebrate Blake’s upcoming wedding with a trip to Charlotte for a Carolina Panthers game.
But instead of waiting until game day to make the almost three-hour drive from Raleigh, the groom and his groomsmen decided to arrive a day early, and spend a chunk of their Saturday at the Billy Graham Library.
Turns out, it was time well spent.
“When I was planning this trip, I knew we had to make the Billy Graham Library a part of it,” said Kohl, who served as Blake’s best man. “At this point in our lives, we need good examples to follow and there’s none better than Billy Graham following after Jesus. It’s something everyone should go see.”
As the group of friends finished their Library tour, they ended up in the prayer room, where Library volunteers Ralph Ingram and Carol Lumpkin prayed with them.
“It’s cool to see people caring for others they just met. The security guard was very friendly and encouraging when he learned what we were doing at the Library and we were encouraged by the volunteers who prayed with us,” Kohl said.
“They prayed for Blake and his marriage. It’s a big step, especially getting married young. He prayed that Blake and Christina (Blake’s new bride) pursue Jesus’ will for their lives. It was great to see that much support for him.”
This experience at the Billy Graham Library was just one more benchmark in the lives of these young men that bonds them together in Christ.
John-Mark, Kohl and Dylan became friends with Blake at church when they were in second grade. Over the years, they have done various church- and mission-based activities together, having gone to out-of-state Bible quiz competitions and participating in Awana clubs.
And now, with Blake beginning a new life with Christina, all things indicate the prayers and support from his brother and his friends will only increase.
“I pray that his marriage will be completely centered around Jesus. If both people pursue after Christ and the Gospel, everything will work out,” said Kohl.
“The Bible talks about marriage as the representation of Christ and his church. And as Blake and Christina draw closer to Christ, I’m confident they will grow to understand more about love and get a better understanding of who they are to be to each other.”