ANAHEIM, CA — After taking a gap year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SoCal Harvest returned to Angel Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 3 with more than 6,000 people making professions of faith.
In lieu of a traditional crusade, Harvest released its cinematic crusade film A Rush of Hope in 2020, which reached over 4 million viewers and saw over 20,000 people respond to the gospel message.
Now, a year later, the outreach event drew over 40,000 people to Angel Stadium and 200,000 online, where they enjoyed performances by Billboard Music Award, Grammy Award and Dove Award-winning artists, For KING & COUNTRY and Phil Wickham, and a gospel presentation by Harvest founder and Pastor Greg Laurie.
More than 600 radio outlets across the nation partnered with Harvest to broadcast the event, and 100 pages across Facebook shared the video livestream. In addition, 170 Southern California churches participated in this year’s event, providing mobilization and volunteers.
The evening began with a performance by For KING & COUNTRY and an introduction from Pastor Greg Laurie. Laurie received a warm applause from the crowd after announcing that the footage from the night would be featured in his upcoming film FAME, produced by the Erwin Brothers. Throughout the night, large screens displayed clips from the film, including interviews with rock icon Alice Cooper and former MLB player Darryl Strawberry.
After performances from Phil Wickham and For KING & COUNTRY, Greg Laurie presented a convicting message on the empty promises of fame, emphasizing the fulfillment that can only come from being known by God.
“The reason so many seek fame is because deep down inside, we have a desire to make our mark and distinguish ourselves,” Laurie said. “We want our life to count for something. We are seeking significance. The answer is not in fame or more followers on your social media account. The answer is in knowing and following Jesus.”
Pastor Greg Laurie took a moment to pay tribute to Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, one of the 13 soldiers who were killed in a terror attack in Afghanistan on Aug 26, 2021. Nikoui attended a Harvest Crusade in 2016, where he and his family gave their lives to Christ. His funeral was held at Harvest Riverside and officiated by Pastor Greg Laurie.
“Kareem went to Heaven because he put his faith in Christ,” said Laurie. “And that’s the hope that the Christian has.”
At the end of the night, fireworks rang out after Laurie invited attendees to make a public profession of faith and Phil Wickham played his hit song “This Is Amazing Grace.” Thousands of people rose from their seats and made their way toward the stage as they committed their lives to Jesus.
“You’re noticed by God. You’re loved by God. And your life can have significance,” said Greg Laurie. “No matter what sin you have committed, God will forgive you tonight if you will ask for his forgiveness.”
Since 1990, Harvest Crusades have been held in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. More than 8 million people have attended Laurie’s crusades in person, and millions more have participated online. More than 700,000 people have made professions of faith in Christ through Harvest outreaches.
In 2022, Laurie is planning two additional live, in-person crusade events: The Boise Harvest in Boise, Idaho and a new event called “Jesus Revolution” at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Moreover in 2022, Laurie is planning to release two films: Fame, an evangelistic film featuring interviews with Alice Cooper and Darryl Strawberry, and Jesus Revolution, a feature film depicting the spiritual revival of the 1960s and ‘70s in the U.S.
“There is no good thing you can do to have eternal life,” Laurie said. “Heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for forgiven people.”
Greg Laurie is the pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California and Hawaii and of Harvest Crusades. He is an evangelist, best-selling author and movie producer. His new book “Billy Graham: The Man I Knew” was released in 2021.