Local News

California Christian Expected to Pack the RBC Center

Posted June 21, 2007 11:53 p.m. EDT
Updated June 22, 2007 10:17 a.m. EDT

— What can unite 250 Triangle churches of different denominations? How about a man from California who usually speaks the gospel wearing a T-shirt and jeans.

His name is Greg Laurie, and he's expected to pack the RBC Center this weekend.

Described by some as the California version of Billy Graham, Laurie is most comfortable wearing Converse sneakers when talking about Christ.

At his gatherings, which are better known as Harvests, he mixes rock and religion.

“The message that we bring is not Greg’s message. It’s a message from the scripture,” said John Collins, with Harvest Ministries. “Like Mr. Graham, Greg will bring a simple, straight-forward message. He’ll make it relevant.”

At the request of more than 250 local churches, Laurie will use the big stage to preach a message of faith and the purpose of life.

"These are all questions that I think aren't just Christian questions. They're universal questions to the human existence,” said Pastor Chris Connell, with First Assembly of God.

The Laurie Harvest has a budget that’s more than your average Sunday service – about $600,000. Organizers say it will be worth it. They’re expecting 30,000 to 50,000 people.

They've even drawn support from the private sector.

“He’s such a good communicator. His messages are culturally relevant,” said Jay Scott, with Priority Associates. “He will relate to the audience in the area whether he’s from Cali or a good old Southern boy.”

The Laurie Harvest begins Friday night. Members of Billy Graham's family plan to attend.

"The whole family is thrilled that Greg Laurie is coming to the RBC Center, and we will personally be there every night in prayerful support and encouragement,” said Anne Graham Lotz.