The Franklin Graham Festival

A couple of years ago, Franklin Graham held a Festival of Hope crusade in Toronto, Canada. His office contacted Galcom International regarding our speech translation units and how they could be used for the event.

For those of you who are not familiar with the city of Toronto, it is the largest city in Canada, is culturally diverse, and there are many languages spoken there. This also means for many people who live in Toronto that English is not their first language. Galcom was able to assist Franklin Graham’s organization by allowing those who may have difficulty following his message in English to hear a real-time translation in their own language. Galcom was asked if they could provide a number of different speech translation units for Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, Spanish, Farsi and Arabic.


Essentially, a speech translation unit is a little radio station on its own. Galcom International’s Cornerstone unit is the main processing system that controls the radio station so that the message could be heard in one specific language. It is a low-powered radio, not more than 2 mW (less than 1 watt). During the crusade in Toronto, each radio (language) station was found between 72 and 75 on the FM dial. For instance, the Russian language for the crusade was found on 73.5 FM and Cantonese on 75.9 FM.


Each person who wanted to use this system to hear what was being said in their native language was given a radio, tuned to the station that broadcasts their language, and a set of headphones. The Cornerstone units for these languages were located inconspicuously in another area of the conference hall. A translator spoke into a microphone and the chosen language was broadcast on a particular frequency. In fact, during the crusade in Toronto, one translator was giving a “play by play” as to what was happening even before the crusade began.

With the crusade in Toronto, six people on six transmitters were translating during the event. These six people were separated only by a few sheets of cardboard in a “radio booth,” and they had no problems with the working of the Cornerstone system. The translators were also watching through a closed-circuit TV so that they could see what was happening. There were three staff members from Galcom monitoring the Cornerstone devices, with one of the three checking that everything could be heard and seen properly.


Galcom has been involved in this important ministry since 1992, when they started manufacturing the speech translation units.  Since then, many groups have asked to use them – from church groups to organizations as large as Franklin Graham’s. Because of these units and the Christian message in their heart language, many people have come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Franklin Graham’s Festival of Hope will be taking place in Vancouver in March 2017 and again will be using Galcom’s speech translation units with 4 languages. Pray that all goes well with the speech translation units and that many souls will be saved!


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