Leaders at the Harvest Crusades estimate that 272,000 people attended the ministry’s first-of-its-kind evangelistic event last Sunday that included those inside a nearly full baseball stadium in Southern California and others watching a live webcast feed at more than 2,400 host locations throughout the U.S.
The numbers for Harvest America, which included the Gospel message by Pastor Greg Laurie, do not include those individuals watching on two Christian TV channels, listening on more than 600 radio stations, or viewing on a personal computer, tablet, or smart phone.
More than 18,000 responded to Laurie’s invitation to profess their faith in Jesus Christ.
“That would make last Sunday the largest single presentation of the Gospel in American history! Praise God! When we add our Saturday totals (Harvest Anaheim), it means that we reached 312,000 people in live attendance over the weekend, with more than 22,000 making professions of faith,” Harvest officials said.
“When we add the Internet viewing audience our total number of people who watched either live in person or on the Web is over 400,000! These numbers don’t reflect how many people – potentially in the millions – that also viewed or listened to the event live on television and radio.”
Out of the more than 2,400 host sites that participated, over a 1,000 of those included churches where those attending and making professions of faith could experience having a trained counselor such as those provided at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., come alongside and offer encouragement and suggested next steps.
Other host locations were “neutral sites,” such as hotel ballrooms, gymnasiums, and homes.
Also, the attendance and faith commitment numbers are still only projections off of the “hard counts” that are recorded so far, Harvest officials said. Only about 30 percent of the host venues have reported as of Thursday afternoon.
“Until we get more complete reports, we’re adjusting downward the projected figures of those we don’t yet know. So these are Sunday’s conservative preliminary estimated projections only,” Harvest stated.
Laurie and Harvest Executive Director John Collins sent out a message on Thursday thanking the thousands of volunteers for the Harvest Crusades.
“As you know, this was a huge step of faith that we all took together. I know many of you prayed fervently and diligently and we can now see the results,” Collins said.
“Now we focus on Dodgers Stadium. Let’s not let up. Keep on praying! Pray hard for the crusade, web, and media teams. They are working overtime to get us to the finish line,” Collins said. “Let’s keep our foot on the neck of the enemy as God is doing great things in our midst!”