|Ed Cannon, president & CEO of FEBC USA, speaks to guests at a special pre-event reception for Proclaim 19 hosted by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey in Malibu, California. (Photo: NRB / James A. Smith Sr.)|
NEWPORT BEACH & MALIBU, Calif. – Two receptions held in Newport Beach and Malibu, California, to raise interest in National Religious Broadcasters’ Proclaim 19 International Christian Media Convention next March in Anaheim were a “huge success,” said Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, NRB’s president & CEO.
More than 160 people combined attended both events, hosted by Barry and Karen Meguiar at their Newport Beach home on Balboa Island on September 12, and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey at their Malibu home on September 14. The Malibu event was sponsored by longtime NRB member FEBC.
“I could not be more pleased by the enthusiastic participation of so many members and friends of NRB – and prospective members and friends – at these strategic events,” Johnson said. “I’m particularly grateful for the wonderful hospitality of Barry and Karen and Mark and Roma. Opening their homes to us was a key to making these events a huge success. We are eagerly anticipating Proclaim 19 in Anaheim.”
Barry Meguiar, known as the “The Car Guy” and founder of Revival Outside the Walls, said during the September 12 reception, “NRB is where it’s at. I can’t imagine not going to NRB. … It’s the body of Christ coming alive.”
While some bemoan cultural trends against Christianity, he said, “Christian media’s never been more important.”
Meguiar said every Christian is called to fulfill the Great Commission.
“We’re all in full-time ministry,” he said, noting that his company, Meguiar’s, can sell a lot of car wax, but that’s not ultimate.
“The only thing that’s going to matter a hundred years from now is how many people are in heaven or on their way to heaven or not going to heaven by the way I’ve used my influence,” he said.
|Star Parker, founder of CURE, (left) poses for a photo with reception hosts Barry Meguiar, founder of Revival Outside the Walls, (middle) and Karen Meguiar (right). (Photo: NRB / James A. Smith Sr.)|
Meguiar introduced his pastor, Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Church in Orange County, who affirmed the work of NRB and told the guests, “I encourage you all, of course, to be at NRB. I look forward to seeing you there.”
Laurie, who was honored by NRB during Proclaim 18 with the Billy Graham Award for Excellence in Christian Communications, will speak during the opening session, March 26, 2019, at Proclaim 19.
“We are the first generation in human history that literally has the ability to fulfill the Great Commission in our lifetime,” Laurie said, noting that 75 percent of the world now has access to mobile devices. “It’s a great time to be alive.”
Citing his documentary film on Steve McQueen – Steven McQueen: American Icon – launched last year, Laurie said Christians need to be willing to take risks, “leave your comfort zone,” and try something new in order to advance the Gospel. “I’d rather try and fail than never try at all.”
|Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Church in Orange County, speaks to guests at the pre-event reception for Proclaim 19 hosted by Barry and Karen Meguiar in Newport Beach, California. (Photo: NRB / James A. Smith Sr.)|
Laurie’s newest project is a book, The Jesus Revolution, and film based on his life that tells the story of the Jesus Movement of the 1970s.
“This is a book that I wrote, not to someone of my age, but almost as though I was sitting across a table from a millennial, trying to tell them about the last great spiritual awakening, what happened, and how God can do it in their generation,” he said. “We can’t live in the past, but we can learn from the past.”
At the Malibu reception, Hollywood power couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey talked about their Christian faith and appreciation for NRB.
“We’ve had a long relationship with the NRB, through all of our films and series,” Burnett said. “We’re very, very grateful.”
Downey added: “We are looking forward to Proclaim 19 coming up in March in Anaheim. We love NRB, and we hope that all of you will consider how you may get connected — or better connected — to NRB.”
Noting the strong number of guests from the Hollywood film and television industry, Downey said, “I’m just so grateful to see so many artists and filmmakers and influencers. And to gather together in this community – it’s really a lovely thing.”
Among the Malibu guests were Kathie Lee Gifford and the Erwin brothers, directors of the widely praised and successful I Can Only Imagine film, which was featured during Proclaim 18.
Downey praised Johnson’s “elevation” of film and television as a “key focus of NRB.”
“He has been a strong advocate for Christians who are working in the entertainment industry, and he has been our friend from his earliest days at NRB,” Downey said.
|Hollywood power couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey speak to guests at a special pre-event reception for Proclaim 19 that they hosted in their home in Malibu, California. (Photo: NRB / James A. Smith Sr.)|
Burnett and Downey, along with a number of guests at both receptions, filmed a brief endorsement video encouraging participation in Proclaim 19 in Anaheim.
Johnson thanked the hosts for their hospitality, noting that the word that expresses the work of Burnett is “compelling,” while “inspirational” captures Downey’s work.
He told the Malibu guests about plans for the Film and TV Summit and Pitch-a-thon during Proclaim 19, urging them to attend and to bring others in the industry who are Christians, seekers, or interested in working with the Christians involved in entertainment.
Ed Cannon, president & CEO of FEBC USA, told the guests about challenges faced by Christians around the world where increasing persecution is evident, citing examples in China, Russia, Vietnam, and India.
“If we don’t stand behind NRB and the great work” NRB is doing in the area of free speech, Cannon said, “those radios could go dark one day, and we in America take it for granted.” Cannon has served on the NRB Executive Committee for the last six years.
Proclaim 19 will take place March 26-29, 2019, at the Anaheim Convention Center, while NRB’s award-winning Exposition – featuring around 200 exhibitors – will be open March 27-29. The annual Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assisting those in the field of Christian communications.
For the Proclaim 19 schedule, sponsorship and promotional opportunities, space and event reservations, and more, visit nrbconvention.org.
Registration opens later this month.
By James A. Smith Sr., Vice President of Communications
Published: September 20, 2018