Plans for Southern California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie to bring his large-scale Harvest Crusade events back to Orange County, Calif., for three nights of biblically-based preaching and performances by popular Christian recording artists were announced Wednesday. The outreach is scheduled to take place in Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Aug. 23-25.
Laurie recently spoke during the National Day of Prayer event in Washington, D.C., in which he focused his prayer on asking for God's forgiveness and seeking a revival for America, noting that although "we have forgotten God, He has not forgotten us."
In addition to the Southern California Harvest, Laurie and Harvest Ministries will host the Philadelphia Harvest at the Wells Fargo Center on Sept. 28, 29. The event will be simulcast to thousands of locations nationwide for a coast-to-coast evangelistic outreach called Harvest America. more >>
A 19-year-old volunteer with Willow Creek Community Church's special needs child care program has been released from a Cook County, Ill., jail after being arrested and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child.
Robert Sobczak was released on $10,000 cash bond this past Saturday after being arrested and released the prior day for allegedly fondling an 8-year-old boy. The felony charge reportedly came after the family of the alleged victim informed church officials of the child's claim that Sobczak had fondled him.
However, once made aware of the allegation, Willow Creek Community Church immediately contacted the state's Department of Children and Family Services, which in turn notified law enforcement officials. more >>
The long-awaited trial of Singapore's popular pastor, Kong Hee of City Harvest Church, began on Wednesday, with a prosecutor stating that the church leader conspired with five others to misuse $41 million in church funds to help promote the career of his pop-star wife, Ho Yeow Sun.
"The evidence will show that the offenses were part of a deliberately planned, meticulously coordinated and carefully executed scheme," said prosecutor Mavis Chionh, according to Bloomberg.com.
Many from the City Harvest congregation queued up outside the Singapore court house at the start of the trial, the Associated Press reported, showing their support for the troubled pastor. The church and its affiliates are said to have a membership of more than 30,000, making it one of the biggest and richest worship groups in the region. more >>
Two movements among Christian congregations in the U.S. today, churches with multiple locations (multisite) and leadership development (discipleship), continue to gain momentum as new innovations are being introduced. In addition, perhaps in an even newer development, a growing number of churches are intentionally developing a culture of generosity, an effort to help carry the gospel message outside the church, says the director of new media and technology for the Leadership Network.
"The multisite (one church, multiple locations) movement continues to gain momentum," Todd Rhoades, of Leadership Network, told The Christian Post via email. "We're seeing no slow down at all in the number of churches being involved in multisite ministry. In fact, we're seeing new waves of innovation in the movement itself: including international campuses, online campuses, the move from big cities to rural environments, and more churches partnering to redeem facilities and struggling churches through church mergers."
Rhoades, along with Leadership Nework, hosted a webcast conference on Tuesday called, Church Innovate North America. Guest speakers, which included pastors from around the country, spoke about multisite churches, leadership training, and generosity. more >>
Singapore's Commissioner of Charities(COC) has given City Harvest Church Pastor Kong Hee and seven of his staff more time to submit official protests against a proposal to have them permanently removed from the ministry's board. The COC has also lifted its suspension of Kong's wife, Sun Ho, allowing her to resume her executive duties at the church. The news comes just two days before Kong heads to court to fight charges related to the mishandling of church funds.
In a statement shared with supporters on City Harvest Church's Facebook page and website Monday, Executive Pastor Aries Zulkarnain revealed, "This morning, Sun, wife of our senior pastor Kong Hee received a letter from the Commissioner of Charities. In the letter, COC informed Sun that the suspension of her status as an Executive member of City Harvest Church has been lifted. The suspension of her executive powers has also been lifted.
"Both suspensions have been lifted with immediate effect. Sun is once again able to exercise her executive powers for City Harvest Church. She is once again an Executive member of the church she co-founded." more >>
The past year has seen a bevy of faith-based reality programming from major networks like TLC, Lifetime and BET. Now, Oxygen Media is joining the pack with its own reality show looking at the lives of Southern California pastors, tentatively titled "Pastors of L.A."
The "authentic new docu-series" starring Bishop Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon and four other high-profile Christian ministers is scheduled to debut in the fall of this year, and appears to follow in the vein of BET's "The Sheards" and WE tv's "Mary Mary" – promising viewers an inside look at the lives of popular and otherwise inaccessible men of faith.
"'Pastors of L.A.' will give viewers a candid and revealing look at six boldly different and world renowned mega-pastors in Southern California, who are willing to share diverse aspects of their lives, from their work in the community and with their parishioners to the very large and sometimes provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit," according to a press release from Oxygen. more >>