This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Evangelist Greg Laurie, a longtime columnist at WND, has held what is being called a baptismal service of "biblical proportions" at one of the locations in California where the Jesus Revolution was filmed, in Newport Beach.
Media reports reveal that over the weekend, at Pirates Cove, the Harvest Crusade and Churches, Laurie's organization, held a service for the baptism of some 4,500 people.
"On the day of Pentecost, after Peter preached, we read in the Bible that 3,000 people were baptized. At Pirates Cove, we are looking at a baptism of biblical proportions," Laurie told the Washington Times.
The report noted the location as a long history for Laurie, as he and his wife were baptized there 50 years ago.
He told the Times, "For me this is a place that’s filled with memories. This is where we also filmed the Jesus Revolution movie. It’s funny because Pirates Cove has been here forever, now it’s taking on a whole new meaning for a lot of people. They not only want to be baptized, they want to be baptized here."
The Jesus Revolution movie, about Laurie's life, showed "the power of baptism and more significantly, what salvation looks like visually," Laurie explained.
"By watching someone get baptized the way it was done in the film it really conveyed what conversion can look like. It really resonated with a lot of people."
The report quoted Shawn Raybourn, 61, from Tustin, California, who said, "To be born again. It’s hard to describe. I’ve been wanting this for a long time."
Baptism in some Christian churches is by the sprinkling of infants. In many it is adult baptism by immersion, which represents the death of the old person, and with it the sin in that life, and the emergence from the water to a new life in Christ.
CBN reported the service was part of the SoCal Harvest Crusade, "where 32,500 people gathered and 6,794 made decisions to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ."
The report noted only a month ago, "approximately 4,100 people gathered at Pirate's Cove Beach for what was labeled as one of the largest water baptisms in history; however, on Saturday Pastor Laurie and other leaders from Harvest Christian Fellowship helped to baptize 4,500 people into the Christian faith, surpassing the previous baptism event that was celebrated by Oceans Church."
Laurie explained, "You're saying goodbye to the old you, buried with Christ in baptism so you might walk in newness of life, that's what the Bible says, so you're coming out saying, 'I'm making this commitment' and you're doing it publicly in front of friends and family."