RIVERSIDE, Calif., Aug. 29, 2017 — In 1972, the world was in upheaval and America was mired in war abroad and increasingly at war with itself.
In Africa, Tutsis massacred over 100,000 Hutus in three months. In Europe, homegrown terrorists bombed and hijacked with impunity. Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland killed each other in cold blood both at home and beyond. And in September, as the world came together for the Munich Olympics, terrorists took members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage, murdering 11.
In America, the Vietnam War dragged on with no end in sight, dividing our nation not only politically, but by generations. A contentious election that had already seen one primary candidate paralyzed by an assassin’s bullet, pitted Richard Nixon against George McGovern. Although Nixon would take over 60 percent of the popular vote that November, the bugging and break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 led to his resignation in disgrace two years later, and seared the word Watergate in our national psyche.
But in the midst of the turmoil of 1972, a beacon of hope pointed the way to a better tomorrow. That beacon was called Explo ’72.
Eighty thousand college and high school students filled the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for Explo ’72, energized and mobilized by three days of teaching, training, evangelism and music. Billy Graham spoke six different times at the event, and renowned musicians performed, including Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Andre Crouch and the Disciples.
It was the apex and most visible event of the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and created an explosion of personal evangelism and an ongoing wave of Christian service. And in 1970, as a result of the Jesus Movement, Greg Laurie, a 17-year-old hippie and drug user from a broken home, heard the message of the Gospel and became a Christian.
Today, as in 1972, our world is in upheaval, and our nation is more divided than at any other time than during the Civil War. And as in 1972, the answer remains the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and a multitude of believers equipped and energized to share that message of hope.
In 2016, Pastor and Evangelist Greg Laurie brought the Harvest America Crusade to AT&T Stadium in Dallas. In addition to a stadium attendance of nearly 90,000, it was also simulcast to more than 7,200 remote host locations and drew a combined 350,000 participants, making it the single largest outreach in American history.
At the invitation of local churches, Laurie and Harvest America, in what is being seen as a continuation of the Jesus Movement, are returning to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, June 10, 2018. The theme of the event is, “Jesus Revolution,” which is also the title of his forthcoming book.
As Laurie observed, “Just as Explo ’72 brought the light of the Gospel to a dark time in our nation and energized a generation for God, our prayer is that He will use Harvest America 2018 in Dallas to launch a revolution that will bring light to a world that is increasingly dark and energize a new generation of Christians to courageously share their faith in Jesus.”
Harvest America is characterized by a clear, culturally relevant Gospel message from Pastor and Evangelist Greg Laurie, powerful music from renowned Contemporary Christian artists, and state-of-the-art lighting and technology. All Harvest America events are provided free of charge.
Pastor Greg Laurie is the founder of Harvest Crusades—the longest-running annual evangelistic outreach in U.S. history. He serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, one of the largest churches in America with campuses in Riverside, California, and Maui, Hawaii. He serves on the board of directors for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He is the author of more than 70 books; hosts the nationally syndicated radio broadcast, “A New Beginning,” and GregLaurie.tv, which airs on TBN; and is the founder of Harvest America, a large-scale evangelistic ministry whose next event will be held June 10, 2018 in Dallas at AT&T Stadium. His latest book isSteve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon.