Well-known pastor Greg Laurie will be hosting a major event at the end of August — his 30th Annual SoCal Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on August 23 to August 25.
It’s described as the longest running evangelistic outreach event in America.
Since 1990, when Pastor Laurie hosted his first crusade in Southern California, over 500,000 people have made professions of faith through the Harvest crusades. His new book will also be released that same week, “Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon” (he’s also a best-selling author and has written more than 70 books).
Laurie is senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship of California and Hawaii — someone Billy Graham referred to as the “evangelist of the future.” Laurie has preached the gospel in person to literally millions of people during his life.
For him, faith is intensely personal. As he told LifeZette during an earlier interview, “The day I sensed God’s presence more than any other day was when I heard the worst imaginable news, that my son had died and gone to heaven. If God didn’t come through for me after I heard this news, which obviously was the worst day of my life, trust me when I tell you I would have given up preaching. I would have given up everything.”
At some point after the loss, Laurie said he and others in grief who find a way to move ahead with their lives stopped asking God, “Why?” Instead, they starting asking, “What now?”
The Bible says we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves receive, Laurie also told LifeZette. He said his personal experience gave him, and still gives him, a great deal of empathy and compassion for others who have suffered similar life-changing wounds.
SoCal Harvest is scheduled to feature three days of performances by renowned Christian artists Passion, For King & Country, Graham Saber, Lecrae, Jeremy Camp, Phil Wickham, Newsboys, Dennis Agajanian and Chris Tomlin. Laurie will speak each night — and he will invite attendees to ponder questions of meaning, happiness and eternity.
Special guests will also be joining Laurie at SoCal Harvest throughout the weekend, according to press materials shared with LifeZette. On the opening night, Friday, August 23, Brennley Brown of The Voice will sing “God Bless America” during a military appreciation ceremony that will include the unfurling of an American flag across the stadium’s field.
Darryl Strawberry, former baseball star and a co-founder with his wife, Tracy, of Strawberry Ministries, will join Laurie on the stage Sunday evening.
The Harvest story goes back to 1971, when Laurie, at age 17, “walked away from a life of purposelessness and substance abuse and joined the Jesus Revolution that was sweeping across Southern California.” A few years later, he began preaching and formed a small Bible study group.
Nearly 46 years later, Laurie’s Bible study has developed into a church of more than 15,000 members across six different campuses in California and Hawaii.
Laurie hosted his first Harvest Crusade in 1990, beginning a new approach to evangelism. That 1990 crusade was “a casual evening of high energy music, authentic worship and a clear presentation of a biblical message.”
Since 1990, Harvest Crusades have been held in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. More than 8 million people have attended Laurie’s crusades in person or via broadcast online and on TV.
Harvest’s purpose is to reach people with the Gospel. Some 535,736 people have made professions of faith in Christ through Harvest Crusades since 1990.
“Looking back,” Laurie said in a statement, “I can see God’s hand at work from the very beginning. It has always been a part of God’s plan for us to know Him and make Him known.”
SoCal Harvest is free to the public and is meant for people of all ages. No tickets are needed for the event. In addition, the event will be streamed online on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Apple TV and more.