As Billy Graham Passes the Torch of Evangelism, Southern California Pastor & Evangelist Greg Laurie Keeps It Burning Through Harvest Crusade Events.
RIVERSIDE, Calif., July 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently drawing more than 242,000 people to Flushing Meadows in New York City, Rev. Billy Graham held what likely will be his final evangelistic crusade in the U.S. But crusade evangelism won't stop when Graham does, and his example has inspired a younger generation of evangelists to reach the world with the same timeless message of the Gospel.
Continuing in the tradition of Graham and other historic evangelists is Southern Californian Greg Laurie, pastor of 15,000-member Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and evangelist for large-scale evangelistic events called Harvest Crusades. Founded in 1990, Laurie's Harvest Crusade events have drawn more than 3 million people in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Tens of thousands more are expected at the 16th annual Southern California Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, July 15 - 17.
"Following the example of Billy Graham and others, I believe crusade evangelism is still a vital, relevant means of delivering a powerful and life- changing message of hope to a world in constant turmoil," said Laurie. "Although the Harvest Crusades may be wrapped in a more contemporary package to reach a different generation, like utilizing modern music and the latest technology, the underlying message of the Gospel is still the same."
Laurie has witnessed firsthand the impact of crusade evangelism as more than 252,000 people have committed their lives to Christ as a result of Harvest Crusade events, many of them young people who come for good music and cool X-Games-level sports, and leave with changed lives after relating and responding to the straightforward Gospel message presented by Laurie.
Called the "evangelist of the future" by Graham, Laurie draws on contemporary means to describe the relevance of faith in today's world at each Harvest Crusade event, but chooses to keep the message consistent and simple as he presents a message of God's love. Laurie's talks encompass topics that appeal to people of any age and answer questions like: Why am I here? Is God real? What happens when I die?
Southern California Harvest: Music, Sports, Technology
In addition to a nightly message from Laurie, the Southern California Harvest will feature Christian music spanning genres from alternative to rock to Gospel, and will include Grammy-winning musicians Steven Curtis Chapman and Jars of Clay, as well as popular artists Jeremy Camp, Delirious, Casting Crowns, Kutless, Crystal Lewis, and Toby Mac.
After breaking attendance records at the Augusta Civic Center in Georgia this April at its Harvest Jam youth night, Harvest will present a similar event in Anaheim, designating the Saturday night program as an evening for youth. The Harvest Jam program will feature a message from Greg Laurie and music from Kutless, Jeremy Camp, and Toby Mac, as well as a pre-concert and Freestyle Motocross exhibition by X-Games gold winner Nate Adams, X-Games qualifier Brian Dowdy, Dave Demangos, and Kyle Loza.
Nightly Southern California Harvest events begin at 7 p.m. and are free of charge. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and Angel Stadium charges $10 for parking. Each night of the event will be interpreted in Spanish, Korean, Arabic, and Vietnamese, and signing for the hearing impaired will be provided. Each night of the Southern California Harvest will be broadcast live on the Internet and archived, and may be accessed at http://www.harvestcrusades.org/ .
Greg Laurie serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., one of the 15 largest churches in the U.S, and serves on the board of directors of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse. In addition to the Southern California Harvest Crusade, Harvest hosted 2005 events in Augusta, Ga., Athens, Ga., and Santa Monica, Calif. Harvest will travel to Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Sept. 8 - 11 and Christchurch, New Zealand, Sept. 14.
CONTACT: Laura Swickard McGowan, +1-847-328-8009, or cell, +1-847-347-5206, newsroom.harvest.org
Web site: http://www.harvestcrusades.org/