Across Pacific & Asia



Baseball stadium that houses the Disney-owned Anaheim Angels
goes from "make believe" to "I believe" for 10,000 who accept Christ

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries  -  Monday, July 15, 2002

ANAHEIM. CA  (ANS) -- The 13th annual Harvest Crusade with Evangelist Greg Laurie, held July 12-14 at Edison Field in Anaheim, turned into a fiesta of souls for 10,000 people who received Christ during the three nights of Gospel music and preaching at the stadium, as well as for the thousands who watched via the Internet and listened by radio on the Calvary Satellite Network.

The three-day event at the home of the Anaheim Angels baseball team saw a total of 100,000 casually dressed people attend the crusade led by Laurie, the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California.

A yearly fixture in Anaheim, the Harvest Crusade was extended in five languages worldwide via a unique live, interactive Internet web cast, broadcast nightly 7:00 - 10:00 PM (PDT), and archived at

This year, the Harvest02 crusade focused outreach on Latinos with invitations to Hispanic churches and additional Spanish translation headsets being provided.


As the opening night crowd of 22,000 on Friday evening enjoyed a high-energy program of music by Crystal Lewis, Dennis Agajanian, the Harvest Crusade and Salvador, and preaching by Greg Laurie, a team of 35 volunteers operating 50 computers networked in the Press Box behind home plate provided interactive graphics and text to support the lyrics and sermon illustrations. An extended audience of more than 7500 individuals logged on in nearly 25 countries, including Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Bulgaria, Japan, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Tasmania and Guatemala. Simultaneous interpretation of the music and message was provided in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Arabic. (Pictured: View of Platform at Harvest Crusade).

The volunteer technicians created the dynamic, interactive web cast by combining a broadcast quality video signal from the television cameras in the stadium with supporting graphics and text through a proprietary software developed by the Harvest Internet team. The hybrid program was sent wirelessly to a server in Irvine, CA, and then broadcast via high speed Internet connection over the Akami network to 6,000 servers, which provided direct limitless capacity worldwide.

"The Good News of the Gospel is the best message the world has ever known; now we are able to use the best technology to get that message in a live, interactive format to as many people as possible in places where Greg Laurie could never go to hold a crusade," said John Carley, president of Trinet and director of Harvest On-line. (Pictured: British Band Delirious?).

In addition to the sermon and program support, the individuals who log on to the web cast were able to submit questions to Greg Laurie, some of which he addressed in his sermon. At the end of his message, as he gave his invitation to the audience to come forward and make a commitment to Christ, a team of 20 Internet counselors were available to chat with and provide counseling and follow-up to anyone in need of spiritual assistance.

The Saturday night event was aimed at the youth and drew a crowd of 45,000 who enjoyed the up-beat pre-crusade concert from By The Tree, Skillet, Switchfoot and the popular British group Delirious? and also featured Christian comedian, Robert G. Lee. After Laurie had preached with his unique mixture of pop culture and the Bible, some 4,200 people flooded onto the field to make their decision for Christ.

The final night, Sunday, July 14, saw a crowd of 33,000. Andy Templeton of the Orange County Register described the scene in this way: "The crusades are a modern version of tent revivals, blending rockin' music with biblical messages geared toward those who normally don't attend church. No one wore traditional Sunday garb for the closing night. Instead the crowd favored overalls, tank tops and T-shirts that said 'God Bless America' and 'I Love Jesus.' Some waved flags or carried signs for singer Jaci Velasquez, the first Christian artist to top the Latin charts." (Pictured: Crowd at the Stadium).

The Katinas and the Harvest Crusade Band also played and Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, spoke before Greg Laurie delivered his final sermon called "The Fear Factor," based on John 14:1-6. At the invitation, a total of 5,104 received Christ on the field.

For those who's lives were changed, there must have been much rejoicing amongst the angels of heaven - and maybe even by some of the players of the Anaheim Angels who surely will have been pleased to know that their stadium was put to good use for these extraordinary three nights in July.
Dan Wooding is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times). Wooding is also a syndicated columnist, and was for ten years a commentator on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 40 books, one of which is "Blind Faith" which he co-authored with his 93-year-old mother Anne Wooding, who was a pioneer missionary to the blind of Nigeria in the 1930s. Copies of this book are available from the ASSIST USA office at PO Box 2126, Garden Grove, CA 92842-2126. His writings are on the ASSIST Website at:

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