Many of the reported 4,500 who were baptized at Harvest Christian Fellowship’s “Jesus Revolution” baptism July 8 climbed rocky terrain and were subject to state fees to enter Pirate’s Cove Beach.
The baptism number Senior Pastor Greg Laurie reported surpasses the estimated 4,166 who were baptized at Pirate’s Cove in the Baptize SoCal event May 28, sponsored by Oceans Church. Pirate’s Cove is memorialized as the site of thousands of baptisms during the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s-1970s.
“They were here, there and everywhere,” Laurie tweeted of those attending the 8 a.m. event, estimating the crowd at 20,000. “There was a line that was like half a mile long of people waiting to be baptized.”
Victor Chayasirisobhon, California Southern Baptist Convention president and director of missions for the Orange County Baptist Association, said at least 20 of the association’s 152 congregations participated. He expressed hope that the event, which followed the July 1-2 capacity crowd SoCal Harvest Crusade at the Honda Center in Anaheim, becomes an annual post-Harvest Crusade event.
The SoCal Harvest Crusade drew 32,500 over the two-night event, with 6,794 making decisions for Christ. It was not clear how many of the 4,500 baptized at Pirate’s Cove accepted Jesus at the crusade. The baptism is estimated to be one of the largest baptism by immersion events nationally, if not worldwide.