DENNIS AGAJANIAN MINISTRIES WELCOMES YOU
Join Dennis In Sharing The Gospel
It was 1967 when God gave 19-year-old Dennis Agajanian the opportunity to tell members of the Hell’s Angels about Jesus Christ.
Some members of the notorious motorcycle gang were at a coffeehouse on the Berkeley Campus of the University of California where Dennis was playing guitar and singing secular and Gospel songs.
Just as Dennis was telling them the Good News, he noticed that Billy Graham—who had come to the university to share the Gospel with 8,000 students—was not only in the coffeehouse, but was carefully listening to him. Awestruck, Dennis was ready to let Mr. Graham take over the preaching, but to Dennis’ surprise, Mr. Graham said, “you’re doing just fine.”
That moment was pivotal in the life and ministry of a man who has been called the world’s fastest flatpicking guitar player. It emboldened Dennis to continue doing the work of an evangelist as the Bible instructs in 2 Timothy 4:5.
Dennis picked up a guitar for the first time when he was 15, and before long was playing in a bluegrass band. As his abilities developed over the years, he became famous for his fast picking skill in instrumentals, bluegrass, and Gospel music.
He has shared the stage with Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Michael W. Smith, and Darius Rucker. In addition, Dennis has written the music for three movies and three ABC TV specials, and recorded almost 20 albums.
Dennis committed his life to Christ in 1959, at age 11, when a friend invited him to a youth event at a church near Los Angeles. They arrived and found only four other people in attendance. But the youth pastor was undeterred; he preached the Good News and the Holy Spirit opened Dennis’ heart to the mystery of the Gospel.
Dennis responded to the pastor’s invitation.
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” the pastor asked.
“Yes,” Dennis replied.
“It all made sense that Jesus would want to save me (from judgment),” Dennis says.
At that time, Dennis was playing trumpet. Four years later, he switched to guitar, and four years after that, in 1967, he started playing songs that glorified Christ. That resulted in his invitation to perform in the Berkeley coffeehouse the night he met Billy Graham.
Dennis crossed paths again with Billy Graham in 1974 after Cliff Barrows, Mr. Graham’s music director, heard him play at a California outreach event led by Canadian evangelist John Wesley White.
Cliff liked what he heard and asked Dennis to be part of the worship team at a Texas Crusade the following year. Dennis played at that event (where he first met Franklin Graham) and gave his musical testimony at more than 40 other Billy Graham Crusades throughout the years.
Dennis Agajanian performs on stage with Charlie Daniels at the Franklin Graham Festival in Jacksonville, Florida in 2015.
One highlight was performing at a 1994 Billy Graham Crusade in Tokyo.
“For me to play a Japanese guitar and Japanese music, in the sold-out Tokyo Dome (with a seating capacity of 55,000), was such an honor,” Dennis said.
Meanwhile, finding they had many mutual interests, including motorcycle riding, Dennis and Franklin became friends.
“I always liked Franklin’s messages and I told him he should preach, but he didn’t want to be compared to his dad,” Dennis said. When Franklin began leading evangelistic Festivals, Dennis became a regular musical contributor. He has participated in more than 200 so far.
Dennis has often played and sang in Canada, and says he appreciates “the politeness and kindness of Canadians.” He’s been part of the music and testimonies at Franklin Graham Festivals in Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary, plus Franklin-led Rock the River youth outreach events in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and B.C’s Fraser Valley.
He has performed and shared the Gospel at other BGEA-led events in Canada, including a memorable 2014 appearance at the medium-security Drumheller Institution in eastern Alberta.
Dennis has also worked alongside Franklin’s son Will Graham, a BGEA vice president and an evangelist who preached at the November Prince Edward Island Celebration of Hope in Charlottetown.
“Will has a great heart, and he’ll carry on the organization someday,” predicted Dennis, who brings Will to southern California every December for a six-church Acoustic Christmas tour.
As he continues performing, Dennis also continues telling anyone who will listen about the love and salvation offered by Christ.
“I really believe Satan is trying to keep evangelism out of the church,” Dennis said, leaning forward to emphasize the point. “People are not on fire for Christ anymore; that’s why it’s important that we take evangelism seriously.”
“If you have the heart of an evangelist, God will always bless your work. When you reach out to non-Christians, you are as close as they’ll get to Jesus.”
GUITAR WITH DENNIS
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WHAT WE DO
Keep up to date with where Dennis is, who he is collaborating with, and how he is spreading God's word.
Dennis collaborates with top tier talent across the globe - pictured here, Dennis and Charlie Daniels at a Franklin Graham Festival. Charlie was a great friend and great picking partner--he will be missed.
BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION
One of Franklin Graham's closest friends, Dennis performs at many BGEA events over the years and partakes in Heal Our Patriots, Samaritan Purse Outreach Projects, and countless other ministry outreaches including the Decision America Tours and Crusades across the world.
SURPRISE ARIZONA CALVARY
FOOTHILL FAMILY CHURCH, LAKE FOREST, CA
SAN DIEGO, CA
COSTA MESA, CA
HORIZON CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
SAN DIEGO, CA
LOCATION: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
LOCATION: HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM
MARCH 30-APRIL 2
OCC GLOBAL CONNECT CONFERENCE
LOCATION: ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA
LOCATION: RENAISSANCE AT SEAWORLD IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA
APRIL 29-MAY 7
LOCATIONS: MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, AND NORTH CAROLINA
SEPTEMBER 14 – 17
PRESCRIPTION FOR RENEWAL CONFERENCE
LOCATION: RENAISSANCE ORLANDO
SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 1
LOCATION: ESSEN, GERMANY
2020 Inspirational Country Music Association's Musician of the Year
2020 Inspirational Country Music Association's Music Evangelist of the Year
2013 Musician of the Year with ICM (Inspirational Country Music Awards-Nashville,TN USA)
2010 Musician of the Year with The Christian Country Music Association
2009 Musician of the Year with The Christian Country Music Association
2008 Living Legend Award with The Christian Country Music Association
November 2007 Awarded by the CHRISTIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION “MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR”
November 2006 Awarded by the CHRISTIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION “MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR”
November 2005 Awarded by the CHRISTIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION “ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR”
November 2003 Awarded by the CHRISTIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION “MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR” and “ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR” in Nashville, Tennessee – Nationally Televised on GMA from the CCMA Awards Show held at the historic Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium.
November 2002 Awarded by the CHRISTIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION “MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR” and “ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR” in Nashville, Tennessee AT the CCMA Awards Show.
May 2, 2002 Dennis gave an invitational concert commemorating the National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon and received a special invitation to the White House by president George W. Bush.
November 2001 CHRISTIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION in Nashville, Tennessee nominated Dennis for both the “MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR” award and the “ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR” award. DENNIS was awarded the “MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR” AWARD! He was honored to reveive his award at the historic Grand Ole Opry.
March 2001 Worldwide Pictures presented “ROAD TO REDEMPTION” A Billy Graham Evangelistic Association premier movie. Dennis was featured as a strong, rough biker representing Jesus Christ to the lost. Now released on video and DVD. Keep watching for other new releases.
In 2000 & 1999 CHRISTIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION in Nashville, Tennessee nominated Dennis as the “INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR”!
ALL CONNECTING TO GOD
An endless passion for music, for faith,
for love, for people, for life.
His peers regard him as one of the greatest acoustic guitar players of our generation. The Inspirational Country Music Association has awarded him Musician of the Year seven times, Entertainer of the Year three times, and the Living Legend award. Dennis has been a musical staple at the biggest evangelical crusades in the world since 1974. Good and fast would describe both his God-given talent and his career.
Dennis began his musical journey playing trumpet, then picked up the guitar at age 15. He was inspired by Joe Maphis, Clarence White, the bluegrass band The Dillards, and others. He would often sneak backstage and learn tricks of the trade from some of the best musicians of the day. Only two years later he won the Hollywood Bowl Battle of the Bands with his brother Danny and friend Don Beck. Very quickly his incredible talent and dynamic personality began to open doors.
One day in 1967 he played a Christian coffeehouse in Hollywood called the Salt Company. At that moment he felt a profound calling and his ministry began. Dennis realized he had the gift of connecting with people through his music and the communication skills to connect them with God and His plan for their lives. To this day that calling is the center of his life.
Dennis’s musical style is eclectic, performing a mix of bluegrass, gospel, country, and classical. Without a distinct genre, he hasn’t enjoyed radio airplay to the extent that others with his talent would have. Despite that lack of exposure, he still enjoys a large audience. He has been seen on numerous television specials, USO shows, and at bluegrass festivals. He has also shared the stage with such well-known artists as Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Michael W. Smith, and Darius Rucker. In addition he has scored three motion pictures and three ABC television specials
There’s an unconventional side to Dennis as well. He has been the unofficial chaplain of the Indy 500, and performed songs commemorating the drivers for an album produced by Valvoline. He has raced motorcycles, and even drove one down an airport runway while playing the William Tell Overture on his guitar. That difficult feat was broadcast on the television show That’s Incrediblein the early 80’s.
Dennis fully realizes the responsibility that comes with the talent he has been given. God has been faithful to him his entire life, and he aches for others to know God’s peace in their lives. To that end he travels to wherever in the world people are hurting. He is blessed to have numerous opportunities through his relationship with Billy Graham and his son Franklin, both of whom are his close friends. He has now traveled to 96 countries to share God’s love, quite often with Samaritan’s Purse. He is also prominent at many Harvest Crusades with Greg Laurie.
Many of the places he visits are dangerous even on a good day. But Dennis travels to Siberia and Alaska in the winter because that is when the troubled youth need the most guidance. He has traveled to Beirut, Cambodia, and the Sudan during wars because that is when aid was most desperately needed. He visits hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, and orphanages because those people can’t make it to his concerts, yet need to hear of God’s saving grace as well. For this very reason Dennis rides into Sturgis for their motorcycle rally.
Jesus shed His blood and died for every person Dennis meets, and he will tell him or her that in as gentle or aggressive way as he needs to. He sincerely means it when he tells them he doesn’t want them to go to hell.
Dennis and his wife Victoria feel deeply blessed by the sale of his CD’s and free-will offerings. This is what enables them to travel wherever the Lord leads to bring the music and message of salvation and hope. God continues to move on the hearts of people to provide for their travel.