"Leo Harris had a big heart. It stretched as wide as Australia.. * It stretched as wide as the world!"
Tributes were brought at the funeral service from leaders such as Pastor Andrew Evans, General Superintendant of the Assemblies of God in Australia, Pastor Don Baker, of the Foursquare Churches and Rev. Alan Langstaff of the Temple Trust; and telegrams and letters were read from church leaders throughout the world.
The service itself lasted for about three hours. Conducted at the Adelaide Crusade Centre's modern auditorium, it was marked by fervent praise, resounding singing and forthright declaration of the Word of God. Testimonials were also brought by members of the family and close friends. Outstanding in this regard were the words of Mrs. Belle Harris, Pastor Harris' widow, who read one of his letters sent to her in 1947, illustrating his total commitment to the ministry.
The service climaxed with a communion celebration in which dedication to the cause of Christ was triumphantly re-affirmed.
Leo Harris died suddenly at his home at the age of 57, on Saturday, September 24, 1977. He had just returned from his normal morning run, and was still seated at the wheel of his car when he passed away.
The cause of death was, in layman's terms, a worn-out heart. Enlarged beyond limit on the left side, it simply failed to pump anymore. Speaking at the funeral service, Pastor Barry Chant remarked: "Leo Harris had a big heart. It stretched as wide as Australia. It stretched as wide as the world."
The Adelaide Crusade Centre, founded by Pastor Harris nearly 32 years ago, is continuing under the leadership of the team of pastors. Hundreds of people attend services there and every week decisions for Christ are being registered.
The Christian Revival Crusade Inc., which began under Leo Harris' ministry in 1945, now has 70 assemblies throughout Australasia, and over 100 ordained ministers. It is a steadily growing movement. Meetings of ministers held in the last few weeks have all re-affirmed the Crusade's determination to enlarge the work which under the leading of the Spirit of God, Pastor Harris began.
Crusade pastors and people are therefore confident that the movement will go from strength to strength.
With the passing of Leo Harris, the Pentecostal movement in Australia has lost a great leader. However there are already indications that Pastor Harris' death has simply spurred believers to a more enthusiastic commitment to discipleship and evangelism. There has been a marked increase in attendances at prayer meetings, for example, since his death.
As Pastor Russell Hooper, Commonwealth Chairman of the Christian Revival Crusade Inc., in Australia, remarked at the funeral:
"I believe that the mantle of his vision, concept and authority will continue within this nation ..."
"I look forward to what the Lord is going to do through that vision that he shared so liberally . . ." "May we continue to display the loyalty and unity that Pastor Leo Harris cultivated in our hearts!"