I inspired by the movie Jesus Revolution, thousands of people came from across America and the world to take part in two baptism gatherings at the now-famous Pirates Cove in Newport Beach, CA.
Ocean’s Church organized the first baptism gathering of than 4,000 people on Pentecost Sunday in May, coinciding with a major anniversary of the Christian awakening that saw hundreds of thousands of young people come to Christ in the ‘60s and ‘70s. More than 280 churches and 8,000 attendees witnessed the baptisms from the shore.
The following month, Harvest Christian Fellowship Senior PastorGreg Laurie hosted a massive baptism event following his SoCal Harvest Crusade, where 6,794 people made decisions to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ. Pastor Laurie and other Harvest leaders baptized 4,500 people—considered the largest water baptism in U.S. history.
Laurie, whose salvation story is featured in the Jesus Revolution film and who was also baptized at this location 50 years ago with his wife Cathe, commented on the significance in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Jesus Movement. In an interview with Matt Brown, Laurie notes, “There were never crowds like this 50 years ago in the Jesus Movement. This is new and fresh. What’s happening is clearly inspired by the Jesus People revival. People want to have their own revival today. This is revival-like. No question about it.”
Thousands of people lined the seawall at the iconic Pirates Cove to wait their turn to be baptized.
Newport Beach Mayor pro-tem Will O’Neill calls what’s happening here “incredible.”
“Not only are they baptizing people, but they’re really bringing the community together. And look, we spend a lot of time thinking about water quality here in Newport Beach, but nothing is more pure than what’s happening right now and it’s just a special thing to see today,” O’Neill says.
A woman named Shelly came from Arizona with her three nieces to be baptized for the first time. “I saw the [Jesus Revolution] movie at first and then I realized that we all needed to get baptized,” she explains. “I feel wonderful, it’s a new life.”
Laurie says he’s thrilled to see the impact the movie is having on a new generation, and he’s urging Christians to keep praying for revival so that what’s happening in Pirates Cove will spread across the nation.