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Hawaii's Jesus Revolution: 2,000 Salvations in 7 Years at Greg Laurie's Church on Maui

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By now, you've likely heard of Pastor Greg and Cathe Laurie thanks to Jesus Revolution, the film that wowed theatergoers and is now showing on Netflix. What you may not know is that, in addition to their L.A.-based church, they lead a congregation in beautiful Maui called Kumulani Chapel.

For the past seven years, Greg and Cathe have been leading the flock at the open-air Kumulani Chapel – mostly virtually – after taking it over from a friend.  Still, several times a year they visit their Maui campus. 

"And we did pray about this! It wasn't as easy as you would think and everyone thinks, oh Hawaii, of course, you would say yes. But you know this was a pre-existing congregation and now they're going to have a video feed, and that's what we give them, we give them a live video feed of what's happening in California and it has worked beautifully," Pastor Greg said. "The church has doubled in size and since we took it over, we've seen some 2,000 people make a profession of faith to follow Christ."

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The Lauries say what's unique about Kumulani is at any given service, visitors make up about 30% of the congregation.

"It's amazing, every time we come, we meet people from all over the country and in some cases, all over the world and it's a joy to be here with the flock that live here on Maui," Cathe said. 
"It's unique, it's a very special place, the people are so friendly, this congregation has open arms for everyone," she said. "Ohana! That's Hawaiian for family," Pastor Greg added. 

And when in Maui, the Lauries like to have some serious fun, from eating at their favorite restaurants to riding the vespas or mopeds around town. And one of Pastor Greg's favorite treats while in Maui is the shave ice.

"It's shave ice, not shaved ice, and don't call it a snow cone," he joked.  

Although Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth and people come from all over the world to enjoy it, it's also a place where people come searching for something. Even if they don't know what it is, Pastor Laurie says it's Jesus they're looking for.

"I think sometimes people think, 'If I lived in Hawaii, I'd find what I'm looking for.' And people come and there is a lot of things the Island offers but it's not in Hawaii, it's not in the bottom of the ocean, it's not in flying a rocket into space, how many homes you own or all these things, it's in a relationship with God – that's what people are really looking for," Greg said.

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Cathe added, "It doesn't take very long before you realize you just keep coming up empty, over and over again. So, what we want to do is preach the Gospel in such a way that they don't see it as just this church thing that you do on Sunday and you check the box, but it actually becomes a living, breathing part of your life," she said.

"This church has helped me out so much, it's a blessing," Kumulani parishioner Shawn Lewis said.  After losing part of his leg in a tragic motorcycle accident while living in California, Lewis says he lost his faith. He came to Maui five years ago to find himself and met Jesus instead. "And then I got into adaptive surfing. These guys surf a lot here and it's just a really great fit for me and the guys. We have so much fun in the water," he said. 

Shelly Voelker moved to Maui in 2015 from Missouri. "We came with some friends who kept inviting us and we hadn't found a church home yet and we haven't looked back since, we come here every Sunday," she said.

Stephanie Mirich who runs the women's and children's ministries at Kumulani says this is a very special congregation. "The Aloha spirit is everywhere and that's what really opens up people's hearts, everybody feels like family," she said.

The Jesus Revolution movie is also having an impact on the number of people being baptized in Maui as dozens of Believers lined up after the Sunday service to take the plunge. 

"I'm excited! I'm on fire! this whole team is awesome!" said newly baptized Fred Torres. 

"Today was where I let go and let God into that place to restore my soul, to give me peace. I feel amazing, transformed, as they say," said newly baptized Michelle. 

For the Lauries, Maui is more than a tropical paradise, it's another mission field – another place to preach the gospel, baptize new believers, and worship the God who created it all.

CLICK HERE for more information on Harvest Kumulani Chapel 


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About The Author

Wendy Griffith

Wendy Griffith is a Co-host for The 700 Club and an Anchor and Senior Reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to The 700 Club, Wendy co-anchors Christian World News, a weekly show that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of the global church. ( Wendy started her career at CBN on Capitol Hill, where she was the network’s Congressional Correspondent during the Impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. She then moved to the Virginia Beach headquarters in 2000 to concentrate on stories with a more