More than 600 people were recently baptized at the completion of a nine-day evangelism series that took place at several sites in the Southeast Dominican Conference (SDC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Dominican Republic.
Baptismal ceremonies crowned an ongoing partnership between the Atlantic Union Conference in the northeastern United States and the Dominican Union Conference. Twenty-five pastors fanned out across the SDC territory, conducting the series at various locations under the theme, “Rescue of Love.”
Administrators from the Atlantic Union Conference, including Pierre E. Omeler, president; Ted A. Huskins, executive secretary; Elias F. Zabala Sr., treasurer; Jose Joseph, vice president for Haitian and African Ministries; and Henry Beras, vice president for Hispanic and Portuguese Ministries, traveled with Hispanic Ministries coordinators and pastors from the Atlantic Union to join forces with pastors from the Dominican Union to preach during the series.
Beras worked with Gabriel Paulino, president of the SDC, to coordinate the event. The SDC covers an area with more than 1.3 million people. The meetings drew thousands each night, and with the blessing of the Holy Spirit, the series culminated with hundreds of baptisms, church leaders said.
“This year’s impact was so positive,” Beras said. “We were able to go into the community and serve their needs in various aspects. Young kids who had been battling drugs and delinquency made the decision to leave that life and follow Christ. On the last day of my evangelistic campaign, I asked if there was anyone — even just one person — who wanted to be baptized that day. One young lady raised her hand. I went into the baptismal waters [to baptize her], and to my surprise, ten people ended up being baptized that night!”
Organizers also held a large baptism service on Saturday (Sabbath) afternoon to coincide with a Global Youth Day 2023 “Love in Action” rally at the SDC headquarters in Santo Domingo. Beras shared a devotional message at the rally, and Omeler spoke for the baptismal service.
For more than a decade, the Atlantic Union Conference and the Dominican Union Conference have partnered as sister unions to conduct numerous evangelistic and mission-related activities. Additionally, the Atlantic Union has assisted in raising and building several churches in the Dominican Republic.
“Our focus in the Atlantic Union Conference continues to be mission-oriented,” Omeler said. “That is what we are all about as a church, and for 120 years, we have been active in missions not only in the Atlantic Union territory but also abroad. Mission and evangelism go hand-in-hand, and evangelism is a natural activity that flows from a mission emphasis.”
Atlantic Union Conference administrators are making plans for a similar evangelistic initiative to take place in the Atlantic Union territory in 2024.