Arizonans serve at Harvest America
Jul 13, 2017
About 38,000 people gathered at the University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday night, June 11, for Harvest America, featuring top Christian music artists and preaching by Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. An additional 246,647 tuned in live through the webcast, the 3,700 simulcast host sites and on Facebook Live.
At the end of the evening, 2,904 people walked down to the stadium floor to indicate their decision to follow Jesus Christ, and 4,324 more registered their commitment online or at host locations nationwide. Others made professions of faith during Crossover Arizona prior to the Sunday night event.
About 95 Arizona Southern Baptist churches formally participated in Harvest America by committing to follow up with those who made decisions, showing the simulcast and/or partnering with seminary students who went door to door in neighborhoods around churches to promote the event. They were among 425 Arizona churches that were part of Harvest America.
In addition, many individual Arizona Southern Baptists were among the 5,000 volunteers who served as ushers or decision follow-up workers or sang in a mass choir of several hundred. Several musicians from First Southern Baptist Church, Avondale, and North Phoenix Baptist Church sang at microphones with the choir, and North Phoenix Executive Pastor for Worship Robert Comeaux joined Harvest America choir director Ray Jones in conducting the choir.
“I can’t say thank you enough to Greg Laurie and the Harvest America team for their hard work and sincere commitment in helping us reach Phoenix with the gospel,” said David Johnson, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention executive director. “I also want express my appreciation to the North American Mission Board for their role in making it happen. The event was a great expression of churches coming together for the sake of the gospel.”
Johnson, who spearheaded an eight-week prayer effort on Sunday nights at the stadium leading up to the event, said prayers had been answered.
“I believe the response at [Harvest America] was just the beginning of the fruit we will see in the future in our community and our churches,” he said. “God was glorified and the name of Jesus was lifted up as the gospel was proclaimed. We thank God for answered prayer and give Him all the glory!”
Harvest America started with prayer for the nation and then attendees experienced a night of worship with musical artists NEEDTOBREATHE, Trip Lee, MercyMe, Jordin Sparks, Phil Wickham and Brennley Brown and heard a gospel presentation from Laurie.
The evening ended with Laurie inviting people to the stadium floor if they wanted to begin a relationship with Christ.
“No matter what, come with your sins, come with your questions,” Laurie said to a quiet crowd. “He will take you as you are.”
The weekend’s Crossover Arizona and Harvest America events started Friday, June 9, with worship and training at North Phoenix Baptist Church. Speakers shared testimonies, techniques and training for one-on-one evangelism that attendees could use to deliver the gospel simply and powerfully.
Fifty Crossover volunteers gathered the following day to fix up Arizona homes. They repaired plumbing, cleaned houses, painted walls and landscaped yards during the “Love in Action” service project at several transitional houses owned by Dream City Church and its affiliate, Dream Center.
As the sun set, the streets of Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale and Mesa filled with almost 1,000 people sharing the gospel during the “Tell Someone” evangelism portion of Crossover, said NAMB Evangelism Executive Director Joel Southerland.
–Compiled from Portraits reporting, Baptist Press and Harvest America. Photos by Seth Deibel and Baptist Press