Newcastle Harvest Event Draws Thousands in Australia

Newcastle Harvest '05 drew more than 25,000 attendees to the Australia’s Newcastle Entertainment Center in a celebration of Christianity through praise worship and messages by evangelist Greg Laurie.

Over 25,000 people attended the Sept 8-11 Harvest event, which – according to Harvest estimates – represents more than 15 percent of Newcastle’s population.

"I've been to Australia a number of times now,” Harvest Crusade founder Greg Laurie told the Newcastle Herald. “We felt the last time we were in Newcastle, something very special and exciting took place.”

Laurie, whose Harvest events have consistently attracted large attendance since its beginnings in 1990, has held evangelistic crusades around the world – in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States, with an estimated total attendance of 3.2 million. He is also senior pastor for Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside, Calif. – one of the top 15 largest churches in the United States.

"Our objective is to challenge people to do more than attend,” Laurie commented. “We want them to become a functioning partner in Christianity."

The focus of the four-day event, conveyed through Laurie’s messages and the selection of praise songs, was on “the love of Christ four-night crusade.

The Harvest '05 program featured music from contemporary Christian music artists, including Delirious, Rebecca St. James, Planetshakers, Hillsong/Darlene Zschech, Steve Grace and the Harvest Band.

After the event, 2,400 people responded to the calling and dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ.

"When we leave this morning we leave behind thousands of changed lives,” noted Harvest ’05 Director, Mike Brazeal, following the conclusion of the event in Newcastle.

“Many have shared how their church is now much more confident and bold to proclaim the gospel. And how they now have a new pride in living their Christian faith in public. We are thrilled to be able to be a part of what God is doing here in Australia."

According to Harvest, around 200 churches in the surrounding areas of Newcastle Christian community and 2,500 local volunteers participated at the Harvest event.

Laurie commented, “The message resonated: the churches were unified in an unprecedented level.”