Inter-American Division News
Panama | Libna Stevens

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-American Division (IAD) has been preparing to gather more than 500 active lay preachers and evangelists from across the vast territory in Panama City, Panama, for a division-wide Festival of the Laity Congress on August 4–6, 2022.

The event is part of centennial celebration initiatives and activities organized this year, which have driven church leaders and active lay members to double their evangelism efforts in sharing the gospel with the drive and passion that characterized early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers since the division was established in 1922.

“The proclamation of the good news of salvation has been and will always be our goal as Seventh-day Adventists, and we praise God for the opportunity to celebrate so many of our lay evangelists, lay preachers, and lay Bible instructors who faithfully fulfill the mission of the church every day throughout their communities,” said Pastor Melchor Ferreyra, Personal Ministries director for the church in Inter-America and main organizer of the festival.

“We want to reaffirm our commitment to the task of reaching the greatest number possible of people for the kingdom of heaven,” said Ferreyra. The festival comes after a 12-year hiatus since the last time the IAD held a Festival of the Laity in 2010.

“It’s been so overdue, and it comes to shed light on the crucial role the layperson in Inter-America has played in growing the church hand in hand with church pastors to more than 3.7 million members today,” Ferreyra said.

Themed “His Light Prevails,” the festival will draw hundreds of outstanding laypersons as well as church administrators to the three-day event in Panama City, one of the handful of sites that once was a home to the Inter-American Division headquarters decades ago.

The festival will include keynote presenters from the Adventist World Church and the IAD, mission progress reports, new-paradigm evangelism training, available media and preaching tools, and more.

The opening ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Panama City Time (8:30 p.m. Miami [EDT] Time) on Thursday, August 4, 2022. The program will continue as follows:

Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. and 7:15 to 9:05 p.m.

Sabbath, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 7:00 p.m.

To view IAD’s Festival of the Laity on August 4–6, 2022, go to

For a detailed program and information on keynote speakers, go to