More than 2,000 people have been baptized during an unprecedented 10-day evangelistic campaign that spanned five cities in western Venezuela.
The 2,009 baptisms crowned the “Happy, Living a Life With Hope” campaign involving 15,600 church members in the cities of San Cristobal, Barinas, Guanare, Valencia and Barquisimeto.
“We thank God for the massive support of our members across our different cities,” said Julio Palacio, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in West Venezuela.
He said the campaign led to “a spiritual experience never before seen in the history of our country.”
The baptisms are part of an effort by the Adventist Church’s Inter-American Division to baptize 1 million people in five years, ending in 2015. The goal was reached in the first quarter of 2015.
Evangelist Alejandro Bullón headlined the evangelistic series, which traveled from city to city over the 10 days last month.
“Every year we usually hold a large gathering in one city,” said organizer Fernando Toala, who heads the local church’s personal ministries department. “But this year we wanted to expand, touring various cities one after another.”
Young people rallied in each city, marching with banners, holding musical performances, organizing large gatherings in parks and squares, and inviting passersby to attend the meetings.
“So many people were intrigued,” Toala said. “Many would come up to us and ask us what all the big colorful excitement on the streets was about.”
He said this was a new way for church members to share Jesus, and they would follow the model in the future in the Central American country.
In addition to the baptisms, nearly 7,000 people are taking Bible studies, and many are expected to join the church by the end of April.
The evening evangelistic meetings were streamed live on the Internet and carried on the 25 radio stations operated by the church throughout the region.
The Adventist Church’s West Venezuela Union is based in Barquisimeto and has 142,400 church members worshiping in 560 congregations.