Over 4,200 Join Adventist Church in Inter-America in Online Evangelism Series
After six weeks of spiritual messages, a total of 4,213 people have joined God’s family through baptism during the Footprints of Hope online evangelistic series, organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.
The series, which featured keynote speaker and evangelist Glen O. Samuels, was made possible by the coordinated efforts of field evangelism teams in all of the English-speaking regions of the Inter-American Division, namely Jamaica, the Atlantic Caribbean , the Caribbean, Dutch Caribbean and Belize.
Breaking the gospel glass ceiling
“The Holy Spirit has broken the gospel glass ceiling in many ways through intercessory prayer, the best technical team and a global audience and the baptism of souls,” said Pastor Samuel Telemaque, director of the School. Sabbath and Adventist Church Mission in Inter-America and Senior Coordinator of the Footprints of Hope series. The online series was the first of five regional online campaigns, which unite the 24 unions of Inter-America for collaborative and integrated evangelistic efforts this year as IAD celebrates 100 years since its inception as a territory. organized division.
From January 15 to February 25, 2022, thousands of people from the Caribbean, Central America, North America, Asia, Europe and other parts of the world watched and listened via YouTube, Facebook and… other social media platforms, in the clear TV, cable, radio and hopebeyond.net as Pastor Samuels spoke.
Believers Traveling to Jamaica for Baptism
One of the hundreds baptized on the series’ final day, February 26, was 86-year-old Maudlyn Linton-Young, who flew from Tampa, Florida, to the United States to be baptized.
“What prompted me to come was the Reverend Glen O. Samuels,” Linton said. “The greatest preacher I ever knew was Billy Graham, but this ‘Glen O’, as my great-niece calls him, he can preach, and he would say where to find everything in the Bible, and I would write it down and read it the next day.
It was a watershed experience for the church, said Pastor Everett Brown, president of the church in Jamaica and chair of the online series’ planning committee.
“I will remember this campaign for the over 4,000 baptisms, the effective and efficient use of technology to win souls, the synergy that existed between union leaders and members in planning and executing the series, and the powerful preaching of evangelist Glen Samuels,” Brown said. The campaign resulted in 2,267 baptisms in Jamaica. “Indeed, the evangelical glass ceiling has been shattered in many areas, and at the future, the way we do public evangelism will never be the same,” he added.
Engaged Work of Digital Bible Workers
Hundreds of Bible workers, called Digital Bible Workers (DBW), ensured that those calling for prayer, counsel or baptism were reached during the series each evening. One such person was Shorna Myrie, an elder at the Salem Adventist Church in Montego Bay, who, along with her DBW colleagues, was able to help 60 people get baptized.
“I had the privilege of serving as DBW,” Myrie said. His duty was to answer phone calls and requests in chat rooms. “People were calling for prayer, and most of the requests were for health issues or asking them to recommit to the Lord,” she said. “The lines were particularly busy during the sermon and roll call.
Calls came in from all over the world, and in some cases Myrie and her teammate had to try to locate pastors from different countries and locations to organize the baptism, she explained. “A lady from Connecticut [United States] brought her 13-year-old son to Jamaica to be baptized,” Myrie said. “It was quite an enriching experience.” She learned that people want to connect with those who are caring, patient, and know the Bible.
Stefan Murray, an engineer from Kingston, was baptized on February 12, despite the emotional challenge he had upon hearing the news that his wife had lost her baby that same Sabbath morning. When asked what gave him the courage to be baptized, he replied, “I realize that I will need more strength. I would need something else to fight. I may not know what’s going on, but I trust [God].”
Impact in other unions
In the Caribbean Union Territory, 913 people were baptized during the online series. Dozens of churches presented the evening programs, and others watched from their homes.
“The impact of the evangelistic series will surely bring more people interested in studying the Bible,” said Pastor Royston Philbert, secretary of the Northern Caribbean Conference Church Ministerial Association. There were 56 new believers joining the church last month as the series ended, but more are approaching churches in St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) and nine other conference islands. “Just last Sabbath, after church, a couple who had watched the show came and indicated their desire to be baptized,” he said. “We are going to baptize more and more people long after the series because [of] the impact of the series on their lives.
In the Atlantic Caribbean Union, which includes the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands, 512 people joined the church during the online evangelism series.
“For us, the idea of participating in the Footprints of Hope series was quickly accepted by leaders across the union,” said Pastor Peter Kerr, president of the church in the Atlantic Caribbean. Ahead of plans for a collaborative regional campaign with sister unions of the IAD, church leaders had planned to participate in an online evangelistic campaign for the entire territory months before the idea was launched for Footprints of Hope,” Kerr explained.
“It was very easy for us to make the transition quickly and coordinate efforts on the ground and with other unions,” he said. Church leaders and members joined efforts and held prayer vigils, seasons of prayer, and early morning intercessory prayer groups during the series; they also held extended times for roll call each night at local churches after Pastor Samuels made his call. “The [online] The campaign provided opportunities for unity in some areas that members had never seen at this level,” Kerr said, adding that church leaders and lay people were active in visiting and praying for members. people in many previously unreached communities.
A model to follow
For Pastor Kerr and his team of ministers and leaders, the online series was a brilliant idea. “It’s a pattern that should be followed regularly at least once a year.”
In the Belize Union, 405 people were baptized during the series, and pastors across the Central American country continued to baptize others weeks after it ended. The success of the online series prompted church leaders at Belize Southwest Mission to organize a team of ten local pastors to host a two-week in-person evangelistic series in specific churches and communities. where there is no Adventist presence. “We had members and visitors watching in churches, in markets, and our pastors were busy Sabbath after Sabbath baptizing so many people,” said Appleton Carr, president of the Southwest Mission church. from Belize.
Carr added, “We continue with the same Footprints of Hope theme in some of the more remote areas of the Deep South, near the border with Guatemala, where we have many Spanish speaking people.” The series has sparked renewed enthusiasm among local pastors and lay people to redouble their efforts in spreading the gospel. “Gathering pastors to join the online series has been key to getting so many people to join the church.” Thirty-nine new members joined the church at the Belize Southwest Conference last month.
The success of the Footprints of Hope gospel series is evident, said Pastor Telemaque. “God helped complete the first-ever six-week series held in Inter-America with a harvest of over 4,000 precious souls and supported the largest movement of intercessory prayer warriors throughout the six-week period and into Beyond. With God’s help, we have been able to create a new evangelism paradigm in English-speaking unions. Training for retention and reconciliation of new members has already started online this month.
Additional regional IAD online evangelism campaigns are planned in the coming weeks and months in Central America, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and French-speaking territories. To learn more, visit interamerica.org.
To view the Footprints of Hope online evangelism series, click HERE.
This article originally appeared on the Inter-American Division website.