Harvest Christian Fellowship

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Harvest Christian Fellowship was founded in 1979 by Greg Laurie in Riverside, CA. Laurie has been the senior pastor since that time. Harvest is a megachurch with a congregation of 15,000 and growing. The eighth largest church in America and third largest in California, with satellite campuses in Eastvale (Corona, CA) and Orangecrest (Riverside, CA) and a dedicated campus in Orange County (Irvine, CA). As well as being the launching pad for the International Harvest Crusades, Harvest is involved in other various internal and external ministries.

General[edit]

The vision at Harvest Christian Fellowship is "Knowing God And Making Him Known." While being heavily evangelistic, Greg Laurie also preaches three Sunday morning services at 8:00 am, 10:00 am and 12:00 pm. A fourth service is also held at 6:00 pm and is entitled Sunday nights more by Greg Laurie. Harvest also offers a mid-week study every Wednesday led by Pastor Jeff Lasseigne along with separate High School and Jr. High services. All Sunday and mid-week services are available as a live webcast and are archived for later viewing.[1]

Harvest Crusades[edit]

In 1990 Greg Laurie started holding his first public evangelistic event which would soon be called the Harvest Crusades. Since the first Crusade it has been estimated that nearly 4 million people have attended in stadiums, amphitheaters, and like venues.

A typical Harvest Crusade begins with worship—a foundation that Laurie believes to be very important. After opening worship, songs from the Harvest Crusade Band (or local "praise teams" depending on the venue) and featured guest musicians perform and share stories of how they believe God has changed their lives. Since all Harvest Crusades are held at the invitation of local churches, it is not uncommon for local pastors and other special guests to offer prayers between musical performances. After the music is finished, Laurie presents a simple evangelical gospel message from the Bible, often advertised as a "down to earth talk about heaven." At the end of this message, Laurie invites the attendees to come forward toward the stage and publicly repent from their sins, profess their trust in Jesus Christ, and ask for salvation. After coming forward, each individual is greeted by a trained volunteer "decision follow-up counselor" from a local church. These counselors pray with the supplicants, answer questions, and provide them with free materials including a Bible.

Harvest Crusades are always free and open to the public. Some venues the organization has used charge for parking, but Harvest Crusades receives no compensation from these venues. Instead, the organization is supported by private donations.

SWAT International T-Shirt/Logo

The SWAT Team[edit]

Before any crusade takes place the SWAT Team goes ahead of it. SWAT stands for Students With A Testimony and is a group of high school and college aged youths to evangelize or conduct what they call "street-witnessing." The SWAT team will roam local streets inviting people to the event and sharing their faith. [2] [3]

Statement of Faith[edit]

The following statement of faith summarizes the church's doctrinal beliefs.[4]

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired and only infallible, authoritative Word of God. Therefore, our ministry emphasizes the exposition of God's Word from Genesis to Revelation, line upon line, precept upon precept.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of Christ, in His Virgin Birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful humanity, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is essential, and that repentance from sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the only way to come into a relationship with God.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life; we further believe His power and gifts are available to believers today.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they who are saved unto the resurrection of life, and they who are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe it is important to uphold the scriptural practices of the early church. Therefore, we hold to the practice of water baptism and the regular taking of Communion. We do not believe that either of these practices is essential for salvation, but that they serve as a demonstration of our living faith in Christ.

References[edit]

  1. Chapter Two building project
  2. Day7 @ Harvest
  3. SWAT Team News Article - OcRegister.com
  4. Calvary Chapel Magazine - SWAT Pages 6–7
  5. Statement of Faith as of April 2, 2007

External links[edit]