March 30, 2016

Inter-American Leaders Pray at Jordan River for 1.2 Million Baptisms

Inter-American Division

Seventh-day Adventist leaders from across the Inter-American Division prayed on the shores of the Jordan River as they prepared to welcome more than 1 million new members over the next five years.

The special prayer ceremony on the river, where Jesus was baptized, took place after 75 division administrators and evangelists gathered for 10 days of training in Israel.

“Bless these souls wherever they are and bless us as we continue to do our part in furthering the message,” said Israel Leito, president of the Inter-American Division, which encompasses Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and the five northernmost countries of South America.

Church leaders committed to guiding and mobilizing ministers and laypeople to baptize 1.2 million people from 2016 to 2020. More than 800,000 people were baptized from 2011 to 2015. The division has more than 3.5 million members, making it the Adventist Church’s most populous region.

Church leaders partaking in a communion service near the Jordan River. (Gustavo Melendez / IAD)

During the 10-day training, church leaders received in-depth instruction on the division’s five-year evangelistic initiative, “Lord Transform Me.” The initiative encourages church members to seek a transformation through the Holy Spirit daily, and engages them in spiritually led activities and active service in the church and community.

The training trip involved classroom training and merged the concept of ‘Lord Transform Me’ with Jesus’ earthly ministry by allowing attendees to see where Jesus walked and to weigh the theological implications of His work, said Balvin Braham, assistant to the division president for evangelism.

To motivate church members, the church leaders needed to learn about the initiative and develop skills to implement it, he said.

The “Lord Transform Me” initiative will kick off in local churches across the division on April 1 with a series of evangelistic meetings. Hope Channel will air a special three-hour “Lord Transform Me” evangelism program on April 16 from Caracas, Venezuela.

For more information and resources on the Inter-American Division’s “Lord Transform Me” evangelism initiative, visit

For times and channels for the April 16 program:

English: Hope Church Channel 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (ET)

Spanish: Esperanza TV 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (ET)

French: Hope Church Channel 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. (ET)