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Evangelical leader to speak at Grand Forks' Alerus Center

An internationally known evangelical and Pentecostal leader and world-traveling evangelist, Roberts Liardon, will speak this weekend in the Alerus Center in Grand Forks in an event sponsored by Gospel Outreach Ministries and Bishop Michael Cole.

Liardon, based in the Los Angeles area, says he has preached in more than 100 countries and written 50 books, including “God’s Generals,” about famous Christian preachers. He’s known as a historian of evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity.

Liardon, 47, also received national attention 12 years ago when he was forced to step down from his large church in Irvine, Calif., admitting to a several-months affair with a male youth pastor in the church.

He said he received counseling from evangelists, including Oral Roberts, and he moved his ministry to Florida when he returned to preaching.

Liardon has an unusual spiritual story: He speaks of seeing Jesus, in person, at least twice. Once in 1974 when he was 8, during a kind of vision when he says he was transported to heaven. And once when he was 12, he says Jesus walked into his room to inspire him to write a book. Liardon described Jesus as about 5 feet 11 inches or 6 feet tall with prominent biceps, according to an interview he did three years ago with the Christian Telegraph publication.

Liardon was scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Alerus Center under the theme “God’s Presence in Every City.”

Bishop Cole, who began his ministry in Grand Forks nearly 40 years ago, has invited other churches and people of all faiths to attend.

For more information, call (218) 791-4611; online at