3,052 Baptized and 200 Pastors Ordained in Dominican Republic


housands of people packed a stadium in the Dominican Republic’s capital on Sabbath to celebrate 3,052 baptisms and the historic ordination of more than 200 pastors at the close of a worldwide Ten Days of Prayer initiative by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The worship service at Santa Domingo’s El Palacio de Los Deportes stadium, transmitted live online and via radio and television, was attended by the Adventist Church’s 29 top leaders, including General Conference president Ted N.C. Wilson, who preached the sermon.

“We leave with hearts filled with gratitude for the moving of God’s Spirit and overflowing with joy that the Holy Spirit has worked powerfully in this capital city,” said evangelist Mark Finley, who led a nightly program titled, “New Year, New Life,” in the stadium on Jan. 7-11.

The 3,052 baptisms include dozens of people baptized during Finley’s evangelistic series, hundreds more baptized in Adventist churches across the Caribbean island nation on the evening of Friday, Jan. 16, and the majority who were baptized in the stadium and elsewhere on Sabbath, Jan. 17, according to the Adventist Church’s Dominican Union.

The ordination service, held on Sabbath afternoon, marked a historic moment for the Adventist Church in terms of the number of ministers who were ordained and the number of countries and top church leaders involved.

Ted N.C. Wilson, left, leader of the Adventist world church, preaching in the packed El Palacio de Los Deportes stadium in Santa Domingo, the Dominican Republic. Photo: @adventistasrdTed N.C. Wilson, left, leader of the Adventist world church, preaching in the packed El Palacio de Los Deportes stadium in Santa Domingo, the Dominican Republic. Photo: @adventistasrd
Twenty-six pastors, center row, kneeling with church leaders, left, during an ordination service. The pastors' wives are standing behind them. Photo: @adventistasrdTwenty-six pastors, center row, kneeling with church leaders, left, during an ordination service. The pastors’ wives are standing behind them. Photo: @adventistasrd

More than 200 pastors were ordained, including 26 at the host site in Santa Domingo. Leaders from all 13 divisions of the world church attended the ordination service together with General Conference vice presidents and other officers, some of whom participated. Twenty-three church unions in 11 countries took part in the service via satellite.

Finley, who works as assistant to the General Conference president and an editor-at-large for Adventist Review and Adventist World, said the stadium was overflowing when he and other church leaders arrived at 9 a.m. after a two-hour bus drive from the hotel where they were staying in La Romana.

“The 12,000-seat auditorium was packed to its maximum capacity, with over 15,000 people inside and thousands more outside listening via loud speakers,” Finley said by e-mail. “The day was an inspirational feast, with inspiring music, a powerful sermon by Pastor Wilson, an amazing musical production of the story of Acts, and a moving baptismal ceremony.”

Church leaders have spent the past week in La Romana, reviewing strategic objectives for the Adventist Church at an annual meeting. They took a day off on Jan. 14 to help construct a local church building, and they attended the unveiling of a city street named after church co-founder Ellen G. White on Jan. 15.

The Sabbath also capped the Ten Days of Prayer, an annual initiative by the General Conference’s Ministerial Association that saw Adventists gather daily worldwide to ask for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church. Adventists have spoken of renewed unity in their church families and of spiritual and physical healing as a result of the prayer sessions.

Finley said God was changing lives through the efforts of dedicated Adventists in the Dominican Republic, and he expressed hope that Adventists around the world would set aside personal interests to focus on the church’s mission of sharing Jesus.

“I leave Santa Domingo deeply impressed with the commitment of our Adventist church members to mission, the extraordinary participation of young adults in the life and witness of the church, and the laser focus of church administration on evangelistic outreach,” Finley said. “I leave sensing that God did something incredibly unusual because administrators, pastors, and lay members united in God’s mission to the world with a sense of urgency. And I leave wondering what might happen if this unified focus on mission and commitment to winning lost people to Christ overshadowed all self-interest and was the priority of every church, every conference, union and division.”

fuente:  revista adventista.

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