A crowd of several thousand women at Tampa's Ice Palace arena wait patiently for the "Just Give Me Jesus" revival to begin. Those of us close to the chilly main floor this Friday night hunker down in our coats as we warm up to the worship music of Christian recording artist Fernando Ortega. Suddenly, it's time: Well-known speaker and best-selling author Anne Graham Lotz, 54, clad in a silver-gray pantsuit, gracefully crosses the platform to the podium—a simple wooden cross—to open this free, two-day event with prayer. Tall, elegant, and articulate, Anne acknowledges our need for God in her heart-felt plea for him to "Just give us Jesus!" Over the next few hours and during the following Saturday sessions, which are interspersed with worship, guided prayer times, and Bible study, Anne vividly reintroduces Jesus as the suffering Savior, the crucified Lord, and the resurrected, reigning King portrayed in Scripture.
The second daughter of evangelist Billy Graham and his wife Ruth Bell Graham, Anne looks as much at home on the platform as her famous father, who once called her the "best preacher" in the Graham family. A gifted Bible expositor who uses edge-of-the-seat narratives in her teaching, Anne's spoken at venues as varied as church sanctuaries, the General Assembly of the United Nations, and Amsterdam 2000—the largest gathering of evangelists in history. For 12 years Anne led a burgeoning Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class in her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. But in 1988, she left BSF to create AnGeL Ministries (derived from her initials), a nonprofit organization that promotes Bible exposition through Anne's live presentations as well as her audiotapes and books. Then, in 2000, Anne launched "Just Give Me Jesus" to spark revival in the church. JGMJ events are cosponsored by local church leaders in host cities and AnGeL Ministries. To date, 13 revivals have been held in major cities across the United States. One national and three international gatherings—in Seoul, South Korea, London, England, and Cardiff, Wales—are slated for later this year.1