A televangelist known for his Bible teaching and Christian books will preach Thursday at a free event at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“An Evening with David Jeremiah” will include a sermon by Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., plus music by contemporary Christian recording artist Gordon Mote and Marshall Hall, worship leader at Jeremiah's California church.
Wednesday, during an interview in downtown Oklahoma City, Jeremiah described the evening as a gospel rally of sorts.
“I love doing it. It rallies the troops,” he said.
Jeremiah said people from all over the metro and state are expected to converge on downtown, coming in their church buses and vans for a night of Christian fellowship. He said Thursday's event will be his first gospel rally presentation in Oklahoma City, although he has visited the state for other functions.
“In this day and age, when things are tough for everybody, sometimes, I think Christians feel like they‘re all by themselves,” he said. “You get in an arena where there are several thousand people and you're praising God together and you're looking around and seeing a lot of other folks that you don't even know and they're praising God — it really does bring encouragement to your heart.”
He said such events give him an opportunity to connect on a more personal level with people who read his books, listen to him on the radio, or see him on TV and online through his “Turning Point” radio show and television program. The preacher founded Turning Point Ministries in 1982.
Jeremiah, 72, said Thursday, he will share a message from his new book “What Are You Afraid Of?” which was released in October. The book is currently on The New York Times best-seller list.
Jeremiah said he discusses in the book nine common fears people have, including fear of disease, depression, disaster and God.
He said Christians face various challenges these days, most notably marginalization by secular society.
“They're being pushed into a corner. There seems like there's a willing toleration for everybody and everything except for Christians,” Jeremiah said, noting that this seems to manifest itself during certain times like the coming Christmas season.
“I think Christians are beginning to feel the pressure of a secular culture wanting to drive them right out of the marketplace. I don't think it will ever happen, but I think there's an awful lot of pressure right now because of the secular mentality we have in this country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah said he is encouraging those who have already received the free tickets to Thursday's rally to attend the evening's presentation. He said people who do not have tickets may go online to ascertain that they will have tickets waiting for them at the arena's will call office. He said people who do not have tickets should come to the arena anyway, because they will not be turned away.