August 7, 2014

Hispanic Camp Meeting Results in Church Plants

Two Virginia church plants resulted from Potomac
Conference’s Hispanic camp meeting, held in Woodbridge, Virginia: one in
Merrifield, the other in Landmark. Local churches held more than 35
evangelistic series before the event, reports Jacqueline Sanchez-Ventouris, administrative
assistant to director for Hispanic Ministries. “The hope was that all the
visitors attending these series would attend camp meeting and those who were
prepared for baptism would do so,” she says. More than 2,200 people attended
and at least 12 charter members for each plant were present.

baptisms1The concept of planting a church at camp meeting
is not new. “Camp meeting was actually designed for this purpose,” explains
Karen Cress, Potomac’s vice president for strategic initiatives. “In her books Evangelism
and Pastoral Ministries, Ellen White said the after work is more
valuable than the preparatory work. White was also pleased with another aspect
of camp meeting, which Potomac does well, and that is using the event as a way
to gain knowledge of practical methods of personal missionary work. In this
event, our brothers and sisters are leading us back to basics—establishing
mission churches after camp meeting is over.”

The church plant charter members have
already distributed books and taken surveys to find out the needs of their
communities says Sanchez-Ventouris.

Eighty-three students also graduated from the
School of Theology for Discipleship during camp meeting, which will further the
mission even more. Graduates will use their skills to plant more small groups
and home churches. “Our work on Earth is to further the mission of the gospel,”
says Sanchez-Ventouris. “We all can play a part in leading people to become disciples
of Jesus.”