“We know from the data that the best way to move the mission forward is to plant churches.”
10-15 additional baptisms are expected on the closing night.
A week-long evangelistic series got underway at the Frederick (Md.) Spanish church on Oct. 8 with lots of celebration, as 26 people were baptized during the opening night meeting. Church leaders expect an additional 10-15 baptisms when the series ends on Oct. 15.
The baptisms result from months of preparation and evangelistic efforts in the church district, which also includes the Canaan (Frederick, Md.) Spanish, Hagerstown (Md.) Spanish, and Martinsburg (W.Va.) Spanish churches.
“I cannot describe it,” says Kelvis Romero, district pastor. “The Holy Spirit was feeling so powerful and there was just joy.”
The week of district-wide evangelistic meetings has featured nightly sermons from Jose Espositio, assistant to the president for evangelism at the Columbia Union. Before the meetings, evangelistic series were held separately at each church from Oct. 1-8. Speakers for these local series included Esposito, Ruben Ramos, Columbia Union vice president for multilingual ministries, and Orlando Rosales, Chesapeake Conference Hispanic Ministries director.
Romero says those baptized include children who’ve studied with their parents, individuals who’ve gone through Bible studies and participated in small groups and former Adventists who’ve been away from the Church for many years. One of those baptized included a former Pentecostal minister who had come to accept the Adventist message.
Romero says each congregation is working deliberately to ensure that new members are well-supported in their new church families, noting that baptism isn’t the end of the discipleship journey. Each new member will be adopted by a church leader who will act as a mentor and spiritual guide.
“We don’t want people to come to our church and feel lonely,” Romero says. “We want people to feel loved in our church.”