Over 27,000 Join the Adventist Church in Mexico as National Evangelistic Efforts Conclude

Over 27,000 Join the Adventist Church in Mexico as National Evangelistic Efforts Conclude

Mexico | Cristhel Romero and Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

More than 27,000 new believers recently joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mexico as comprehensive evangelism efforts culminated with a national online evangelism campaign, held June 18–25, 2022. The coordinated efforts engaged thousands of members in spreading the message of hope and salvation in Jesus throughout their cities, communities, and social media platforms. The online series drew more than 2 million people online and resulted in more than 5,000 baptisms in Mexico’s five major church regions on the closing day of the one-week series.

“Ultimate Hope” Evangelistic Series

Themed “Ultimate Hope” (Esperanza Definitiva), the eight-day evangelistic series consisted of a hybrid setup, with a group of 500 persons viewing the program in person at the Julio Glocker Lozada Auditorium in Puebla, Mexico, while thousands more tuned into the one-hour evening messages.

The evangelistic series featured Pastor Edgar Benitez, of Central Mexico, as the keynote speaker. Benitez encouraged viewers to find hope in Jesus in the midst of crises, uncertainty, loss, depression, disillusionment, and anxiety.

“In the midst of our storms, God, the Bible, and faith play an important part in the process of moving forward,”

said Benitez.

“Don’t look at the size of your storm, but look at the size of your God. He is in control. God is all powerful.”

The series is the second national evangelistic campaign organized by the church in Mexico. This year, the series was hosted by the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, resulting in over 4,000 baptisms more than last year and online visits of more than 600,000 during the live online series, streamed on the church’s Hope Channel Inter-America. Last year’s national campaign was also held in June and saw more than 23,000 believers join the church.

Pastor Edgar Benitez, of the Central Mexican Union, delivers the spiritual message during the national online evangelistic series, held in hybrid format at the Julio Glocker Lozada Auditorium in Puebla, Mexico, on June 24, 2022.[Photo: Carolina Gallardo/IAD]
Pastor Edgar Benitez, of the Central Mexican Union, delivers the spiritual message during the national online evangelistic series, held in hybrid format at the Julio Glocker Lozada Auditorium in Puebla, Mexico, on June 24, 2022.[Photo: Carolina Gallardo/IAD]

Collaborative Efforts Across Mexico

The unified efforts saw more than 355,000 pastors, laypersons, church elders, department heads, small group leaders, and missionary couples involved in distributing over 3 million copies of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s missionary book of the year, Ultimate Hope, by Clifford Goldstein. The distribution of the books across Mexico was done during the church’s Global Youth Day on March 19, as part of launching a sequence of efforts leading up to the online evangelistic series last month.

Initiatives and activities led by the Adventist Church across Mexico’s Central, Chiapas, Inter-Oceanic, North, and Southeast unions this year included blood drives, donations to shelters, and visitations to hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes, and correctional facilities, as well as street clean ups, hot meal distributions, and messages of hope through national television and radio networks. In addition, digital activities were launched by Adventist influencers and digital community managers in preparation for the online series. Prayer vigils, intercessory prayer sessions, and messages promoting a healthy lifestyle took place before and during the national online evangelistic series.

“We are so happy to see the church so involved in the evangelistic journey, which began in April and concluded with the national campaign with such great reach,”

said Pastor Ignacio Navarro, spokesperson for the church in Mexico and president of the Chiapas Mexican Union.

“We had amazing results last year across Mexico, but praise God, thousands more have given their life to Jesus and decided to join the church.”

For church members in Mexico, the annual national campaign is turning into a movement that brings about a lot of joy, said Navarro.

“During the national campaign, thousands of members got involved in gathering friends, family members, neighbors, work colleagues, and more in homes, garages, churches, and plazas to listen to the encouraging spiritual messages each evening.”

Fifth Evangelistic Series Across the IAD

This series in Mexico became the fifth regional evangelistic campaign to be held this year throughout the Inter-American Division, as the division territory is celebrating its 100-year anniversary.

“It’s very exciting to see how the church leadership and membership have mobilized for months, collaborating together for greater impact,”

said Pastor Balvin Braham, vice president in charge of overseeing evangelism for the church in Inter-America. Braham applauds the church in Mexico for coming together to advance the mission at a wider level.

“This [collaboration] sends a message to local churches and fields that we belong together and we are able to achieve more [when] united than when we are individually focusing on our own territory.”

Thousands Joining the Church

In Chiapas alone, almost 11,000 joined the church since the efforts began in April, including 2,364 baptisms held at the end of the evangelistic series on June 25, reported Navarro.

Collaborative efforts stretched back nearly two years when top church leaders in Mexico sought to work together as part of a larger strategy to not only reach more people throughout each regional territory but also minister to more people online through the work of pastors, laypersons, church elders, department heads, small group leaders, and missionary couples, explained Navarro.

Every evening, the leadership provided sign language of the series to the growing Deaf community across Mexico, church leaders in the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union said.

“We had staff from the four media centers across Mexico assist in the live transmission, as well as a call center for those who were interested in learning more about the Bible and needed prayer and spiritual encouragement,”

said Pastor Abraham Sandoval, president of the church in the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union. The church also provided answers to many pressing questions, Bible studies, follow-up interactions, and more on esperanzadefinitiva.com.

“In our Inter-Oceanic Union, more than 10,000 small groups held neighborhood campaigns and many public campaigns that have resulted in more than 7,000 baptisms,”

said Sandoval. On June 25, at the end of the evangelistic series, the church baptized 1,775, totaling 7,387 new members in April–June 2022.

New Believers Experience Transformation

María Guillermo Lanz is prayed over and baptized on the water in Atasta, Campeche, Mexico, on June 25, 2022. She was visited and prayed for by a young pastor who visited the hospital where her 12-year-old son was being treated. That led to Bible studies, and María and her husband, Javier, decided to accept Jesus into their hearts. Javier was baptized on May 20, 2022 [Photo: Southeast Mexican Union]
María Guillermo Lanz is prayed over and baptized on the water in Atasta, Campeche, Mexico, on June 25, 2022. She was visited and prayed for by a young pastor who visited the hospital where her 12-year-old son was being treated. That led to Bible studies, and María and her husband, Javier, decided to accept Jesus into their hearts. Javier was baptized on May 20, 2022 [Photo: Southeast Mexican Union]

Bernardino and Kerena Huerta were among the hundreds who were baptized in Puebla on June 25. They had thought about accepting Jesus two years ago but had not yet made the decision. Members of El Salvador Adventist Church in Puebla visited the homes of their friends and family members, including the Huertas, to pray with them and invite them to watch the online transmission at the local church. The Huertas traveled every evening for 40 minutes to watch the online series and made the decision to get baptized on Friday night. The following day, they attended church services at El Salvador Adventist Church.

Guadalupe Espíndola was among the 1,376 new believers who joined the church in North Mexico on June 25, 2022. She had been visiting an Adventist congregation since November 2021, but because she had to work on the Sabbath, she had not made the decision to give her heart to God. As she began studying the Bible and the Ten Commandments, she soon requested Saturdays off from work but was denied. 

“I continued to pray for God to show me the way. I had belonged to another church, but I didn’t feel joy in my heart, and as I studied the Bible more, I had a desire to serve Him,”

said Espíndola. After a few weeks, she was granted Saturdays off and immediately spoke to church leaders about her desire to get baptized. She was baptized in the Mezquital Adventist Church in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

“I am thankful to the Lord because my son was also baptized, and I’m praying for my entire family—my husband and my other two sons—so they, too, can serve the Lord.”

Espíndola was among the 3,866 new members in the North Mexican Union who have joined the church since April.

Jonathan and Erika Noh were among the 564 believers who joined the church in the Southeast Mexican Union on June 25. Both were smiling widely after they were submerged one after the other at a beach in Campeche. They decided to join the Chiná Adventist Church in the district of Bethel, in the Campeche Mission. This was a rebaptism for Jonathan. He was baptized early in life and even took part in the Pathfinder Club but left the church when he was still young. Thanks to the prayers of his mother and uncle, he recently began to take Bible studies at his home. He and Erika followed the online series every evening.

“All of the virtual messages motivated by the Holy Spirit drove us to accept Jesus as our Savior,” said Jonathan. “We want to serve the church, continue growing, and prepare others for the second coming of Jesus.”

The Nohs are among the 3,040 new members who joined the church since comprehensive evangelism efforts took off across Southeast Mexico in April.

The Central Mexican Union also reported a total of 1,730 baptisms across its metropolitan area at the close of the evangelistic series.

Church leaders and members are already collaborating for the third national online campaign, scheduled to take place July 17–22, 2023, in the Central Mexican Union territory, hosted in Mexico City.

To find out more about the national evangelistic series, visit esperanzadefinitiva.com.

To watch Mexico’s “Ultimate Hope” online series on Hope Channel Inter-America, click HERE.

Victor Martínez, Keila Urbano, and Uriel Castellanos contributed to this report.