- (Photo: Twitter/@Dante_Gebel)
A Southern California megachurch pastor, Dante Gebel, hosted a youth event last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where 90,000 people from around the county gathered to hear his message of hope, specifically aimed for young adults.
"What I am asking all who attend it is to invite one or two people who do not know the Lord, take advantage of the event to evangelize," Gebel previously said about the event, according to Argentinian news outlet, La Nacion. "Not only will you enjoy a great show, but you will also hear a message that will confront and challenge you to change your lives. God has given me a message for my country and the rest of America, I'm sure it will affect the youth and family. "
The event dubbed as "El Superclásico de la Juventud" (Superclassic Youth) celebrated its 20th anniversary of bringing thousands of youth together, which first started out as a gathering in the mid-90s of 4,000 people. Prior to the free-admission celebration, organizers held back from disclosing the program and musical acts of the mega event with the aim to lure people who genuinely wanted to have an encounter with God.
"No one comes to 'El Superclásico de la Juventud' for the artists," said Enrique Gomez, the event's production artist. "In this event, Jesus is the passion of the multitudes."
In addition to those present, audiences from Latin American and other countries were able to experience the event via live satellite.
The Anaheim, Calif.-based pastor of Favor Day Church has been known as an international and prominent youth pastor since the early 90s when he began his ministry. At 20 years old, he started the large-scale youth movement with a message that encouraged thousands throughout the following years to remain sexually pure and devoted to Christ.
In 2009, Gebel was tapped by interim pastor of the Hispanic ministry at the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, Calif., to lead the Spanish-speaking chruch, which grew from 300 to 5,000 people in three years, under his leadership. The cathedral, which seats over 2,000, became too small of a worship house for the megachurch, prompting Gebel to move his congregation to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2012. The move also coincided with the beginning of the cathedral's myriad of financial woes and leadership restructuring.
In addition to pastoring in California, Gebel reaches over a million viewers each week with his sermons that are broadcasted via his website, the Telemundo television network, DirectTV and Dish Network.