Christian pastor Greg Laurie has been chosen to lead the invocation prayer at the 20th Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry.
Awards officials announced Laurie's inclusion for the gala event Tuesday. Laurie is being trusted with providing a heartfelt prayer for those in attendance, viewers watching at home and the Hollywood industry at large.
We are greatly honored to have Pastor Greg bless the Gala in February," said Dr. Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and editor-in-chief of Movieguide.com.
Laurie is known for being one of the most popular preachers in the U.S. He serves as senior pastor at one of America's largest churches, Harvest Christian Fellowship, which has locations in Riverside and Irvine, Calif.
Laurie also conducts and preaches at the Harvest Crusade, which are large-scale evangelistic outreaches that have been held around the U.S. and overseas for 22 years. These religious gatherings have been attended by over 4 million people.
Some of the books he has authored include The Upside-Down Church (1999), Every Day with Jesus (1993), and Wrestling with God (2003). Most recently, he has published Loser and Winners, Saints and Sinners: How to Finish Strong in the Spiritual Race.
Moreover, the megachurch pastor hosts the television program "Knowing God with Greg Laurie" and the syndicated radio program "A New Beginning."
He has also had previous appearances on ABC World News Tonight, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. He also functions as a guest commentator at Worldnetdaily.com and makes regular appearances on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Laurie now resides in Newport Beach, Calif., with his wife, Catherine. They have two sons, Christopher (1975–2008) and Jonathan (1986). On July 24, 2008, his son Christopher was killed in a car crash.
The Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry will take place next year on Friday, Feb. 10, at the Universal Studios Hilton Hotel in Hollywood. The theme for next year will be "From Hollywood to Eternity." This event honors family movies and television programs and ones with Christian values also.
Actor Dean Cain will play the master of ceremonies at the event.
The nominees for the event are gathered under a wide range of categories. Winners will be selected for the $100,000 Epiphany Prize for Inspiring Movies & TV. Meanwhile, the $50,000 Kairos Prize is awarded for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by First-Time and Beginning Screenwriters and the Best 10 Movies for Families. The Epiphany and the Kairos Prizes are supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
Other categories for the nominees include the Faith & Freedom Awards for Positive American Values, the Grace Awards for Most Inspiring Performances in Movies & TV and the Best 10 Movies for Mature Audiences, from teenagers to adults.
Dr. Baehr spoke to The Christian Post about his future desires for the awards show. "We hope to increase awareness for the Awards and the TV show," he said. "We also want to influence more and more filmmakers and television artists to consider the Christian and family audience, including children and impressionable teenagers, when they produce their movies and television programs."
People want to see good triumph over evil and justice to prevail," Dr. Baehr continued. "And, they want their children and grandchildren inspired and protected from evil, not just entertained, and their Christian faith strengthened and commended, not attacked, ignored, or ridiculed."