Community Christmas Event Draws Hundreds in the Dominican Republic

Christmas-themed musical program helped people connect with Jesus and His Word.

Dominica Cabral, Laura Duran, and Inter-American Division News
Community Christmas Event Draws Hundreds in the Dominican Republic
Singers and musicians from the Quisqueya Central Seventh-day Adventist Church perform during the Christmas-themed musical concert in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on December 21. [Photo: Quisqueya Central Seventh-day Adventist Church]

A Christmas-themed musical concert organized by the Quisqueya Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, drew more than 1,600 people at Sambil Event Hall on December 21. The free, two-and-a-half-hour event, themed “The Star of Hope,” was the largest community-impact event held by the church in 2023, drawing more than 900 guests invited by the two dozen small groups overseen by the church last year.

“The main purpose was to go out of the four walls of the church and take advantage of the sensitivity that people have during this festive season and preach the gospel in a different way,” Carlos Uribe, pastor of the Quisqueya Central church, said. “Our talented and committed lay people, as well as donors from our congregation, spent a whole year preparing and organizing the event,” he said.

“Our passion to worship Christ has prompted us to gather musicians and Christian singers with the goal of exalting God and sharing the best news of all: the birth of Jesus,” Uribe added. There were 110 musicians among them — a philharmonic group with 20 musicians, 30 singers, a praise and worship band with 35 musicians, and a percussion band.

This is the first time in 15 years that the church has held an evangelistic event outside its sanctuary to accommodate more people in the community, Uribe explained.

“Today this convention center has turned from just an ordinary venue into a door of heaven and arch of salvation, displaying a message of hope through Christian music and the message from God’s Word,”  Jehomar Peña, presenter of the church’s nationwide Radio Amanecer show titled “Constant in Prayer,” said.

The event also included drama performances and a call for guests in attendance to accept Christ in their hearts. More than 40 interested people moved close to the stage for a special prayer.

Gerardo Bautista, president of the Central Dominican Conference of the Adventist Church, said it was important how Jesus can transform the lives of people. “Our objective is to present the gospel of Jesus Christ and plant the word of God in the lives of the spectators through inspirational music, an edifying message, offering hope to them, and being always faithful stewards of the talents and resources God has given us,” he said.

Quisqueya Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, which was established in 1985 and is now the largest Adventist church in the Dominican Republic, has more than 500 members.

Program organizers Misael Carrera and his wife, Cristina, said it was their dream to organize an event that could impact the lives of so many people who many times do not like going to church. “God worked miraculously so that there would be enough resources and talents among the leadership and membership to organize this event,” Carrera said.

Planning took more than 12 months, with 200 people organized in 20 teams to work together on each detail of the program. “Small groups worked to invite hundreds to the event, while the talents of our church through our praise ministry, a music band, a philharmonic group, and a junior philharmonic group, practiced for months,” Carrera said. “We want to continue working to move God’s work forward and show Christ in our lives in everything we do.”

Church leaders and small group ministry leaders said they will continue to follow up on the dozens of guests who expressed interest in learning more about Jesus and the Bible.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.

Dominica Cabral, Laura Duran, and Inter-American Division News