18th Annual Southern California Harvest Crusade with Greg Laurie Draws More Than 102,000, Aug. 3–5
Some 9,521 Make Professions of Faith During Three-night Crusade at Angel Stadium of Anaheim; 32,959 Watch Event by Internet
RIVERSIDE, Calif., August 6, 2007—Representing more than 30 countries around the world, some 102,000 people gathered at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, August 3–5, for the annual Southern California Harvest Crusade with Greg Laurie—an event that has been a fixture in Orange County since 1990. And although the Harvest Crusade took place in a ball park that usually packs in crowds of Angels' fans, The Orange County Register reported, "Another type of cheering pierced Angel Stadium...Baseball took a back seat to the start of the Harvest Crusade, a Christian revival that has been drawing big crowds in Orange County for 18 years." (August 4, 2007)
And the Southern California Harvest Crusade seemed to provide the spiritual revival that many people longed for, with crowds filling Angel Stadium each night for straight talk about God's love and forgiveness from Riverside, Calif. pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie and music from popular Christian bands. During the course of the weekend, another 32,959 people watched the Harvest Crusade virtually over the Internet.
Each night of the Harvest Crusade featured a talk from Greg Laurie with topics including, "How to Find Eternal Life," "Do You Want to Change Your Life?" and "A New Beginning." The overarching message presented by Laurie throughout the weekend was simple: Christ's love and forgiveness is available to all who come to Him and believe in Him. "You don't have to the religious type to come to God tonight," Laurie told the crowd gathered for the Saturday night crusade. "You have to be the sinner type."
He continued, "Jesus doesn't see a crowd in this stadium. He sees you here tonight. Do you want to change your life? You can leave this place a different person if you give your heart to Christ." Laurie concluded each night's program with an invitation for those in attendance to make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Over the course of the weekend, 9,521 people walked down to the field of Angel Stadium to make such a profession.
Music lent support to the talks presented by Laurie each night at the Harvest Crusade, reinforcing the message of God's love. From raucous hip-hop and rock from multi-platinum band P.O.D., to lively pop-infused music and dance steps from tobyMac, to an audience sing-a-long with the David Crowder Band, the Christian music represented at the crusade kept audiences on their feet. Other crusade musicians included Leeland, Crystal Lewis, Phil Wickham, and Dennis Agajanian.
The Saturday night Harvest Amplify program, designed specifically for youth, featured music from P.O.D. and Leeland and topped out as the largest night of the crusade with more than 42,000 in attendance. "Listen up, guys," urged Sonny Sandoval, lead singer of P.O.D. "The Harvest Crusade made a big difference in my life many years ago, so listen to what Greg Laurie has to say."
While more than 102,000 people attended the Southern California Harvest Crusade, another 32,959 people watched live Internet broadcasts of the event at www.harvest.org, with 71 of those viewers indicating professions of faith in Christ. For the first time this year, a Harvest Crusade blog (http://cc.harvest.org) gave readers up-to-the-minute information about the crusades and gave opportunity to post feedback. The Internet broadcasts are archived and available for viewing. In addition, the Harvest Crusade may be viewed via podcast at www.harvest.org/podcast.
Greg Laurie, who founded the evangelistic Harvest Crusade events in 1990, also serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., one of the 15 largest churches in the U.S. During the past 18 years, the Harvest Crusades have drawn more than 3.5 million people to events in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Laurie also serves on the board of directors for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse.
In addition to crusade events that have taken place in Raleigh and Anaheim this year, in 2007 Harvest will make first-time visits to Modesto/Turlock, Calif. (Aug. 24–26), New York City (Sept. 23), and Wellington, New Zealand (Oct. 26–28).