Adventist World Radio (AWR) and the Central Mindanao Mission in the Philippines recently concluded an impactful evangelism campaign in San Fernando and Sitio Natampod, Namnam, with 1,729 baptisms.
The event, which ran from November 26 to December 2, was a joint effort between AWR and the Central Mindanao Mission (CMM). Held simultaneously at the San Fernando gym and in Sitio Natampod, the campaign witnessed a remarkable display of faith and total member involvement, church organizers said.
Key leadership figures from AWR, including president Duane McKey and his wife, Kathy, were at the forefront of the event. Other AWR officers included vice president Cami Oetman; Kathryn Proffit, a former U.S. Ambassador to Malta and a member of the AWR board; Sue Hinkle, AWR outreach director; and AWR special projects coordinator Robert Dulay. Their presence and participation contributed significantly to the event's overall success, regional leaders said.
AWR coordinator for the SSD Roseller Zamora delivered powerful and inspiring messages during the first five nights of the evangelism series at the main venue in San Fernando. Oetman delivered a powerful message during the program’s final night, and Duane McKey then delivered a thought-provoking sermon on Sabbath worship. The final night and the Sabbath worship left a lasting impression on the audience with their stirring messages.
In addition to their participation in San Fernando, McKey and Oetman engaged with the audience in Sitio Natampod on Friday and Saturday mornings, respectively. Their involvement was instrumental in connecting with the local community, fostering spiritual growth, and contributing to the overall success of the campaign, regional leaders shared. Furthermore, McKey and Oetman participated in the morning baptism ceremony, where a significant number of the newly baptized individuals were formerly associated with rebel groups.
The event in Sitio Natampod was particularly noteworthy as it was named the “Peace Development Summit.” Jeiel Basi delivered devotional messages to the attendees every morning and evening during the summit, which included not only spiritual growth but also daily livelihood training provided by government organizations.
CMM administrators, including president Porferio Lagunday, secretary Judyben Cabil, and treasurer Sir Sealoy Godillano, expressed their collective joy at witnessing the record number of baptisms and the full engagement of members and pastors. Lagunday led a team of pastors and lay volunteers in erecting a large dome tent in Natampod to accommodate the sizable crowd in attendance. Under the direction of Rommel Subigca, the CMM communication department coordinated the event with the help of the South Philippine Union Conference’s communication department.
“The deep-seated significance of the evangelism campaign in San Fernando and Sitio Natampod is profound,” regional church leaders said. “It symbolizes a beacon of hope and renewal for the local community, uniting people in faith and fostering a spirit of reconciliation. The presence of former rebels among the newly baptized individuals highlights the transformative power of faith and serves as a testament to the event's broader impact on promoting peace and reconciliation in the region.”
They added that “the collaboration and united efforts of religious organizations, government agencies, and community leaders showcased the potency of collective action in effecting positive change. The event’s success demonstrates the potential for meaningful transformation when diverse voices and organizations come together with a shared vision for a better future.”