For the past four Fridays, in defiance of state mandates issued by California's Governor Newsom, something has been happening on the coastline of Huntington Beach by lifeguard tower 20.
What started out as nearly 300 people on July 3rd has grown to many times that gathering for live praise and worship, a gospel message, baptisms in the ocean, and prayer as word has spread across social media.
“You have all these churches trying to get people to come to them,” Parker Green said to the OC Register. “We are going to where the people are. We really want to see believers activated, not just passively listening to a sermon in church.”
Parker and his wife, Jessi Green moved from New York to Costa Mesa, California after she had a vision of doing baptisms in the Huntington Beach waves. At the time, she worked as a social media manager and he was a pastor at a local church.
City officials are said to have tried to stop the event not only by posting large signs along Pacific Coast Highway stating the event was closed, but by also showing up at the Greeen's door and issuing a citation for violating current COVID restrictions.
Due to pressure from Huntington Beach, the event will be returning for another two Friday's, but in a different location yet to be announced.
While what is being called Saturate OC is causing concern for some due to the potential spread of COVID, those in attendance keep showing up and don't seen all too concerned about it.
One woman, Jane Marczewski of Long Beach, had been given three to six months to live after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Shortly after her diagnosis, her husband left her and she moved from Nashville to California. "Miraculously" she became cancer free after four months of alternative treatments and a mild dose of chemotherapy.
“I came to the revival because I need to let go of my traumatic past and begin my life as a new person,” she said to the OC Register. “When I stepped into the waves, I felt like I was washing off my past. I left all that pain in the water and came back as a new person.”
When asked about concern over COVID, she responded that “I guess I should’ve been concerned, but I thought if I can beat terminal cancer, I can survive COVID-19. It was just more important for me to have this experience.”
The Greens report that they have not heard of anyone that has fallen ill from attending the beach revival.
“If you’re nervous, wear a mask, keep your distance,” Parker said. “I don’t feel like there is an overbearing risk. We’re just trying to pray, listen and be open.”