Greg Laurie's Harvest Festival Carries Tradition of Texas Revivals, Historian Says

Pastor Greg Laurie
Megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie shares the significance of Jesus' last words during a sermon at Harvest Church in Irvine, California, Sunday, November 1, 2015. |

Pastor Greg Laurie's annual Harvest festival is part of a long history of revival events in the southern state of Texas, historian Larry Eskridge says ahead of the stadium event in March. 

Laurie, who heads Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, is currently preparing to host the 25th annual Harvest Crusade at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on March 6.

As the megachurch pastor prepares for the massive Christian conference, historian and revival expert Larry Eskridge has stressed the historic importance of holding this year's crusade event in Texas, which has a long history of evangelical awakenings.

Posting on his personal blog on Wednesday, Laurie shared a recent article written by Eskridge for Worship Leader Magazine that connects Texas' rich evangelical history with the Harvest Crusades.

In his article, Eskridge notes several historic evangelical revivals that took place in Texas, including early Camp Meetings, in which families would camp out in the same area for a week and meet with preachers, and EXPLO in 1972 that attracted thousands of young evangelicals who gathered for music, training and worship.

Eskridge writes in his article that Laurie's Harvest festival is an important 21st century representation of the many revival periods Texas has experienced in the past.

Laurie's festival reminds Christians of the importance of Jesus in the modern world, Eskridge asserts, writing: "But the questions about life and God's ultimate purpose for mankind that will echo through the minds of those in attendance are surely not so different from the ones their forbears asked in those Texas camp meetings, brush arbors, and revivals in days past."

The California pastor has preached about the importance of revival in the past, calling on Christians to seek out God and ask for forgiveness during a National Day of Prayer event in Washington, D.C. in 2013.

During his speech, Laurie said that now more than ever revival is needed in the United States, pointing to "trouble in our culture today" that includes the "breakdown of the family, crippling addictions, and random acts of horrific violence."

Laurie added at the event that he prays that America experience another great spiritual awakening so it may change its course.

"Lord, in Your mercy, we ask that You would exalt our country again. We have had a number of great awakenings in America. We have experienced times of refreshing, and revivals that changed not only the spiritual but also the moral landscape," Laurie told the audience.

"That is our prayer for America today, Lord. Send a mighty spiritual awakening that will turn the hearts of men and women, boys and girls back to you. You have told us if we will humble ourselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You will forgive our sins and heal our land," the pastor added.

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