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Celebritites, Dignitaries, and Politicians Gather for Harald Bredesen's 85th Birthday

By Dan Wooding
Assist News Service

CBN.comBEVERLY HILLS, CA (Assist News Service) -- "He is one of the most unusual servants of the Lord that has ever lived. When the Lord got through making him, he broke the mold. I am very grateful to be here for him." So said Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network during an interview with ANS before a glittering "birthday bash" and award ceremony for veteran Charismatic leader, Harald Bredesen, on Saturday, August 23, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Robertson was joined by Hollywood celebrities, foreign dignitaries, ambassadors, senators, and distinguished guests, for the event to honor Bredesen who is the Founder and Chairman of The Prince of Peace Foundation.

During the evening celebration of his life, he was given his own "Prince of Peace Award" for "a lifetime of serving Our Lord and promoting Peace and God among all nations and all people."

In prior celebrations, The Prince of Peace Foundation had given its prize to three individuals -- President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Now Harald Bredesen got the fourth.

Pat Robertson had a special reason to be at the gathering to honor his friend because he entered the Charismatic dimension of his ministry while serving as Bredesen's student assistant at the First Reformed Church in Mount Vernon, New York. Robertson went on to launch the nation's first Christian TV station, which became CBN. For three and a half years, Harald hosted the network's popular Charisma show. Also, as a founding board member of CBN and confidant of Pat Robertson, Bredesen continues to play a key role in the Network.

In a previous interview, Robertson said of his friend, "He hears from God as clearly as any man I know," and he described Harald's ministry to world leaders as "almost legendary."

"WELL DONE, HARALD"

Another well-known evangelist, Benny Hinn, told ANS, "Harald Bredesen is my dearest friend. There is no man like him. He has touched my life and has left his mark on the Church in a powerful way in fact, when I met Harald for the first time he was known as the father of the Charismatics. Well, in my opinion, he still is and tonight he is 85 years of age. Look at all the precious people who are here to honor him like I do.

"I pray that when we are all in Glory and we stand next to him, we will hear the Lord say, Well done, Harald, and I know we will hear that. Harald is a man who touched my life deeply and I love him and his family very much."

"THE GREAT BIG CYLINDERS IN THE ENGINE OF CHARISMATIC REVIVAL"

George Otis, another veteran Charismatic leader who founded Voice of Hope Radio in Lebanon and also Lebanon Aid and is now the founder and president of Kings World Ministries in Simi, California, told ANS in an interview, "Harald Bredesen is a rare person. He is one of the great big cylinders in the engine of the Charismatic revival which spawned thousands of churches and ministries and new broadcast organizations and enterprise that further the cause of the Lord.

"His ministry has changed our nation and brought about so many TV stations and networks. Harald had a part in all of that as he was involved with Pat Robertson at CBN and TBN, 100 Huntley Street in Canada; in fact for all of those, he was the praying engine behind them."

Bill McConkey, the senior pastor of Sutter Presbyterian Church, Bridgeton, MO, said, "When I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I sought help and advice and I saw a story about Harald in a magazine when he was still a pastor at the First Reformed Church in Mount Vernon, New York. So I wrote to him and we agreed to meet in New York and we began a friendship and then, in 1968, he introduced me to Pat Robertson and I began my involvement with CBN and apart from my family and my church, CBN has become the great interest in my life and that would never have happened without the good offices of Harald.

"Since we first met, we have done so many things and traveled and shared together all over America. He is an example of someone who is very bright but plays dumb and is very effective but plays ineffective and very spiritual and humble and I think the greatest influence he had on my life was introducing me to CBN."

Screen legend Jane Russell was also at the event to give her congratulations to Harald Bredesen, even though she had never met him before. She said, "I am also here to see all the rest of the Christians my buddies. I know a lot of the people here. Its wonderful."

A JOURNALISTS PERSPECTIVE

British-born David Aikman, who was a top journalist for 23 years with Time Magazine and has since founded Gegrapha, a global fellowship of Christians in journalism, and is also the author of many books, then shared his thoughts about Harald Bredesen.

"I first met Harald back in the early 1980s," he said in an interview. "In fact he had a conference in Berlin where we both speaking and he was already a legend by then. First of all he was known as the person who, in a way, launched Pat Robertson onto his career, but more important, I think was, was that he was one of the first the mainline denominational leaders who went forward very vigorously in the whole Charismatic movement. He transformed the Lutheran Movement in the United States in terms of Charismatic commitment and he became one of the leading exponents of Charismatic teaching and practice.

"His connection with people ranging from Anwar Sadat with whom he did a marvelous interview, to heads of governments of state, was phenomenal. He knew everybody and he always has a wonderfully impish sense of humor. There are numerous Harald stories such as him falling asleep under the stage two hours before he was supposed to speak. My wife once drove him to the airport and he was shaving in the car. He is an extraordinary character. Ive always liked him because he is a person with an absolutely unerring heart for people and for the Gospel. He is a real pastoral person. He is a humble man with astonishing achievements to his name.

"I think he is one of the great saints of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."

A VIEW FROM HOLLYWOOD

Dr. Ted Baehr, the founder of the Christian Film & Television Commission and MOVIEGUIDE® said, "Harald Bredesen is one of the most loving, joyous, Spirit-filled men that I know. He was the man who revived the whole presence of the Third Person of the Trinity -- the Holy Spirit -- in the life of the Church, way back in the 1950s. He started the movement that has brought new life and redemption to so many and a lot of the leaders here tonight, including Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, who have all owed their roots to Harald Bredesen."

FORMER CO-HOST OF THE 700-CLUB

A surprise visitor to the event was Danuta Pfeiffer, formerly Soderman, who co-hosted the 700-Club from 1983-1988. She is now married to Robin Pfeiffer and they live just outside Junction City in Oregon where they have an 80-acre vineyard there, and "grow lots of grapes and have a beautiful garden."

Danuta told ANS, "I know Harald very well. He led me to the Lord in 1980. Harald has been has my very dearest friend for many years."

"ELLIE MAE" WEIGHS IN

Actress Donna Douglas, who is best known for her role as Ellie Mae Clampett on the '1960's TV series, The Beverly Hillbillies, said in an interview with ANS, "I first met Harald when I was with Norvel Hayes at Anaheim and that was my first time to meet him. I remember that he wanted us all to go for a walk. He was into exercise and everything. He is special man and has been a joy to know through the years.

"What impact has he had on the Church in America! I would say that he has brought joy and generosity to the church. He is so full of joy and so willing to share and give. He is special special man."

Ray Bringham, President and Founder of Prayer Summit™ said of Harald Bredesen, "His uniqueness is that he touched one person, one on one, who in turn, became great men and movements touching great multitudes of people. He is a one-man leader leading people to Christ one at a time. He has had a great impact on the world. There is no one quite like him."

A MESSAGE FROM THE LOVE BOAT CAPTAIN

Actor Gavin MacLeod, who played the "Love Boat" captain in the hit TV series, said, "Harold Bredesen is a very special human being. My wife Patti and I met him in the 1980s at CBN and weve seen him through the years and he is just a very special man of God who everybody treasures. He is literally a treasure -- not only of ours, but of Gods and every life that he touches has been made better because of the way he has touched these people."

Other guests included: U.S. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, Isak Chishi Swu, Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy Baca, Pat Boone, Claud Bowers, Matthew and Laurie Crouch, Erik Estrada, Constance Towers Gavin, John Gavin, Horace Heidt, Arthur M. Kassel, Marcus Lamb, Neville MacDonald, Judy MacFarland, Wink Martindale, Terry Moore, Fayard Nicholas, Catherine Oxenberg, Peter Mark Richman, Vincent Sherman, Casper VanDamm, Ta Ta Vega, and Francine York. Chairpersons were Jane and Bert Boeckmann.

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