4,500 people baptised at California beach days
Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Christian Fellowship organised the event known as the Jesus Revolution Baptism at Pirate’s Cove. The celebration drew an estimated 20,000 participants and over 4,500 people were baptised.
Pastor Laurie credited the large number of baptisms to “a number of things,” one of them being the success of the recently released film, Jesus Revolution.
“I would say the Jesus Revolution movie really impacted people and so many have come to Christ after seeing it. They were so moved by the baptism scenes in the film and wanted to take the same step in life. It was life imitating art, and that art was based on my real life story and the story of many others as well.” he said. “It is a powerful work of the Holy Spirit” he continued, referring to the large baptism events at Pirate’s Cove in the 1970s.
The film Jesus Revolution is set against the backdrop of the late 1960s and early 1970s, a period when young people were searching for meaning and belonging. It opens on Pirates Cove Beach in California, where a Time magazine reporter is on the scene of a revival. A long-haired figure is baptising people in the ocean while hundreds, including Pastor Chuck Smith and a young Greg Laurie observe both intrigued and confused.
“I was there and I was baptized myself at one of them,” he said. “But this is different. First, it is much larger than anything we ever did. The line of people to be baptized was half a mile long and people waited patiently for 2 hours or more and they did not seem to mind one bit. We have held baptisms at Pirate’s Cove but nothing we have done comes close to this event we just did. It may be the largest baptism in history. The atmosphere was overwhelming and a beautiful thing to see and be a part of.”
“An 85-year-old man saw the ‘Jesus Revolution’ film and received Christ into his life and he wanted to be baptized at the same place where the movie was filmed,” Laurie continued. “His family could not believe it. One of them said, he is literally the last person they ever expected would come to Christ.”
A few hundred churches organised another mass baptism in May on Pentecost Sunday, where around 4,100 people were baptised.
According to Pastor Mark Francey, one of the organisers of the Pentecost gathering “We have never seen a crowd like that for baptisms. As believers, we always want to be obedient to what Jesus asks us to do. My mentors taught me it’s as simple as praying, obeying, then acting.”