Australian Churches Launch Four-Day Harvest Festival in Newcastle

After filling the Newcastle Entertainment Center to capacity in 2003, Harvest with Greg Laurie will return to Newcastle Sept. 8–11 for "Harvest '05."

The evangelistic crusade, hosted by over 200 churches in the area, will feature a down-to-earth talk about Heaven from Californian pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie as well as nightly performances from top international and Australian musicians.

Laurie has been called the "evangelist of the future" by Billy Graham, and uses contemporary means to talk about how faith makes sense in today's world at each Harvest event. Laurie's talks encompass topics that answer questions like: “Why am I here?” “Is God real?” “What happens when I die?”

In addition to nightly talks from Laurie, each evening of the Harvest '05 program will feature music from alternative to Gospel. Musicians include award-winning Delirious, Rebecca St. James, Planetshakers, Hillsong/Darlene Zschech, Steve Grace, and the Harvest Band.

After filling Angel Stadium to capacity at its Southern California Harvest Youth Jam in July, Harvest will offer a similar event in Newcastle, presenting two youth programs on Saturday, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Harvest Youth Jam program will feature a message from Greg Laurie and music from Delirious and Planetshakers. The high attendance in 2003 prompted provisions to be made for overflow seating.

Laurie, who founded Harvest Crusades in 1990, also serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., one of the 15 largest churches in the United States. To date, Harvest events have drawn more than 3.2 million people to arenas and stadiums across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

In addition to the Newcastle harvest, Harvest hosted events in Augusta, Ga., Athens, Ga., Santa Monica, Calif., and Anaheim, Calif., this year. The final 2005 event will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand on Sept. 14.