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Musical guests included musical guests Michael W. Smith, Michael Tait and Salvador.
For Prison Fellowship founder, Chuck Colson, he said he was delighted to be back in Orange County, California, the home of Richard Nixon.
In an interview with ANS, Colson said, “I have been here before to visit the Richard Nixon Library and, of course, I was also here many times with the President. I always get happy memories of those years; happy in the sense that even though the Nixon Administration collapsed and I went to prison, it was a great era in my life and a great experience working for Richard Nixon and it was all a result of going to prison that I have been able to do more in the last 30 years of my life than I was ever able to do before. So I am grateful for all the memories.”
COLSON SAYS THAT RICHARD NIXON WOULD HAVE LOVED THE PEACE PLAN
When asked if he thought that Nixon would support Warren’s PEACE Plan, Colson replied, “I think he would love this. The whole idea that people taking the initiative to rebuild communities and do the good work in the community was something very close to Nixon’s heart. It’s also very close to George Bush’s heart. I’ve gotten to know President Bush quite well and this is the kind of thing that he really just loves to see happen; people getting out to do the things that are needed and not waiting for the government to do it.
“I am endorsing the PEACE Plan because I have huge admiration for Rick Warren. I think it he one of the great men of our age and he has the vision and capacity to bring into being the kind of things that I have worked my soul for this last 30 years. My great passion has been to get the Church out of the sanctuary and into the mainstream of life. That’s what we do. We have 50,000 volunteers and they are working in the prison and along comes Rick Warren.
“In the last six months, Rick and I have spent a lot of time talking with one another. We have the same vision, but he’s got a bigger one and a great capacity to pull it off and we are going to work together and we are going to give him whatever expertise that we have and we are teach worldview to people through his churches and it the fulfillment of my life’s dream.”
BAPTISMS AT THE STADIUM
A unique event at the celebration was the baptisms that took place in a large heated pool that was set up outside two of the gates for people to be baptized.
Unlike a typical church gathering, before the event the parking lot was filled with tailgate parties, a children's music concert, a motorcycle jumping exhibition and a jazz band. And inside the stadium, contemporary worship music, "on the spot" live interviews, and video clips entertained the congregants before the start of the program. (Pictured: Logo for 25th anniversary).
Saddleback Church was started 25 years ago on Easter Sunday. To mark this milestone, Pastor Warren preached his signature "Purpose Driven Life" message on which the church has been built, during 12 Easter services. More than 30,000 attended -- up 6,000 from last year -- of which over 4,000 made faith commitments, a 100 percent increase in response over a year ago.
|Dan Wooding is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). Wooding is the co-host of the weekly radio show, "Window on the World" and was, for ten years a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 42 books, the latest of which is his autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, go to www.fromtabloidtotruth.com.