The tens of thousands of people who turned out for the Triangle Harvest 07 crusade with Harvest Christian Fellowship senior pastor and WND columnist Greg Laurie have made it the largest crowd Laurie ever has drawn outside of southern California.
More than 41,000 people attended the three nights at RBC Center over last weekend, hearing Laurie’s presentation each night of a straightforward message of faith.
“The event, more than a year in the planning, sparked palpable excitement,” noted The News & Observer in Raleigh. “Crowds jumped to their feet the moment the Harvest Crusade Band hit the stage with a staple of Christian praise: ‘It’s not for us; it’s all for you.’”
The attendance started out at 10,500 the first night, and continued to rise throughout the weekend, with 14,500 on Saturday for the Amplify youth event and more than 16,500 on Sunday.
With more than 225 regional churches involved in the work on the events, Triangle Harvest 07 featured music from Christian bands and artists including Andrae Crouch, The David Crowder Band, tobyMac, Leeland and Third Day.
Laurie addressed topics including: “How to Change for Good,” “What is the Meaning of Life?” and “God’s Cure for Heart Trouble.”
He said there is only one true cure for heart trouble – a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“The Bible doesn’t say that you’ll get into heaven by being good. It’s not going to happen by us trying, because we all fall short. Jesus would not have suffered and died on a cross if all roads lead to God,” he said.
“Our hearts should not be troubled if we know that God’s Word is true, have the assurance that we are going to heaven, and believe that Jesus will come again,” Laurie said.
Each night, Laurie offered listeners an opportunity to pray to enter into a relationship with Christ, and crusade organizers said 2,470 people responded. Hundreds more Triangle residents indicated their decisions by praying with teams of youth called Students with a Testimony on the streets of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and nearby areas.
Pastors from a wide range of Christian denominations as well as community leaders distributed more than 405,000 event invitations and 3,500 bumper stickers and then filled the more than 3,000 volunteer positions at the RBC Center over the weekend.
“When Laurie stepped onto the stage, he put the spotlight on the message of Jesus, and emphasized the theme of his crusade – how to change for good,” noted a report on News 14 Carolina.
“The message hit home for Robert Bell and his daughter, Hannah Fuller. ‘Crusades just don’t come through here very often, so it was just a great opportunity to invite a friend, bring someone close and share the good news with them,’” Bell told the station.
Officials said another 14,000 people watched live Internet broadcasts of the events.
Those broadcasts are archived and available for future viewing, and in addition, the events may be viewed via podcast.
Laurie founded the evangelistic Harvest Crusade events in 1990, and also serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., one of the 15 largest churches in the U.S.
Over its history, the events assembled by the Crusade have drawn more than 3.4 million people in the United States, 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 its visit to Raleigh, in 2007 Harvest will return to Anaheim, Calif., on Aug. 3-5 for its 18th consecutive Harvest Crusade in Southern
California, and will make first-time visits to Modesto/Turlock, Calif., on Aug.
24-26, New York City Sept. 23 and Wellington, New Zealand Oct. 26-28.
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