Adventist Academy Church in PNG Welcomes 150 People through Baptism

[Photo: Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review]

Adventist Academy Church in PNG Welcomes 150 People through Baptism

Mount Diamond Adventist High School shows enduring value of Adventist education, leaders say.

News | Papua New Guinea | Marcos Paseggi, with ANN Staff

In a ceremony that witnesses described as “meaningful” and “moving,” 150 people, mostly students of Mount Diamond Adventist High School near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, along with some parents, committed themselves to God through baptism on the school campus on May 11, 2024.

The ceremony crowned two weeks of the PNG for Christ 2024 evangelistic meetings on the site, with two international speakers and the coordinated efforts of regional church leaders, school faculty and staff, and local church members.

Mount Diamond Adventist High School students, faculty and staff, and parents follow the baptismal ceremony on the school campus.
Mount Diamond Adventist High School students, faculty and staff, and parents follow the baptismal ceremony on the school campus.

Personal Testimonies

School leaders planned every part of the baptismal ceremony carefully. Each one of the 150 candidates had been requested to write a statement, which a leader read as they were walking into the baptismal pool in threes, some of them in tears of happiness, to be baptized. As the candid statements were read, a wide-ranging perspective appeared around the students’ backgrounds, hopes, and dreams.

Among the statements were, “I had the privilege of growing up in an Adventist home, where I learned from an early age to love the Lord” and “It was only when I grew up, however, that I kept studying by myself and learning more about God’s will for me. I want to be baptized to tell the Lord that I love Him and that I want to serve Him all my life.”

“I grew up in an Adventist home, but we rarely ever went to church,” another one shared. “Only when I enrolled at Mount Diamond did I discover Bible truth and felt excited to get to know the Bible for the first time. Today, I want to be baptized to publicly witness about my commitment with Jesus.”

A third read, “I grew up in a Sunday-keeping Christian church, and my faith didn’t mean too much for me. But after I was sent to this boarding school, I was surprised to find out that there were so many things I didn’t know about the Bible, including the Seventh-day Sabbath. I have studied and accepted God’s truth as it is in the Bible, and now I am ready to show it by getting baptized. I feel so happy to have decided to follow Jesus!”

Partial view of some of the students baptized at Mount Diamond Adventist High School on May 11.
Partial view of some of the students baptized at Mount Diamond Adventist High School on May 11.

International Speakers

The speaker for the first week of meetings was Fylvia Fowler Kline, manager of the VividFaith program at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. VividFaith connects Adventist members, especially young people, with service opportunities all over the world — volunteer needs, employment openings, remote jobs, and group mission trips.

The second week saw Arturo Gutierrez Menezes, a retired electrical engineer from Pachucha, Hidalgo, Mexico, who preached in Spanish with translation into English.

Menezes’ life story is as uncommon as it is inspiring. An infrared thermographer by profession, he was trained in the U.S., Japan, and Sweden before becoming the first thermographer with the maximum level of training in Mexico. As part of his job, he would travel by helicopter to inspect low- and high-voltage electricity pylons with special camera equipment. He would also train others in Mexico to learn how to do his job.

The high-stakes, extremely dangerous job took a toll on his health, and by 49, he managed to retire. After retirement, Menezes and his wife, Ana María, decided to devote their time, talents, and means to support the mission of the Adventist Church around the world. “I have been repeatedly involved in mission initiatives around the world,” Menezes shared. “And I also support church building projects. It’s such a pleasure to serve the Lord!” On May 11, Menezes was one of the three elders who conducted the baptisms at Mount Diamond.

After the ceremony, the school chaplain conducted an altar call that saw dozens of students and several parents stand up to commit to studying the Bible and getting ready for a future baptism.

“Saying yes to the Lord … that’s the best decision you’ll ever make,” he said as local elders approached them with additional contact information. “Let me pray so you stand firm in your decision.”

About Mount Diamond Adventist High School and Agriculture Centre

Mount Diamond Adventist High School is located on 300 hectares (740 acres) of land 30 kilometers (around 19 miles) east of Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, at the end of a dirt road a few miles off the Rego Highway. The school is not far from the place where the Adventist work began in the country and has been at the Mount Diamond site, a mainly flat land bordered by a small creek, since 1972.*

The school has around 800 students and is managed by the Central Papua Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

* Information provided by the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists.

The original article was published on the Adventist Review website.