Members and leaders praise God for 100 years of the church in São Paulo, Brazil.
The São Paulo Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, one of the denomination’s administrative regions in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, recently celebrated 100 years of history and achievements. To highlight the milestone, the church region joined other church regions, organizations, and institutions to form the 24,000-strong Adoradores (Worshippers) mega-choir.
The celebration event and performance took place on August 13, 2022, at the Arena Barueri, about 20 miles (32 km) from the populous city of São Paulo. The Adoradores mega-choir is also seeking to beat the previous world record for the largest Christian choir in the world, which had been set at 21,262 choir members, regional church leaders said.
For music producer Álisson Melo, his first challenge was to get thousands of people to sing together but also transmit a similar emotion, harmony, and intentionality. “We prepared voice samples and arranged online practices, which every church group that had signed up could use in the months leading up to the gathering,” he said.
Hours before the event, you could see thousands of people in uniform arriving at the arena before the celebration officially kicked off at 5:00 p.m. The 24,100-member choir was joined by various Adventist musical guests and ensembles from across Brazil.
Cândido Gomes, Adventist youth ministry leader for the entire state of São Paulo, was the program’s keynote speaker. “Our message today is about the greatest promise found in God’s Word, which is the return of our Lord Jesus,” Gomes said. “Every time we get together like this, we get a taste of what heaven will be like.”
Thousands of Voices, One God
On stage, Fernando Iglesias led moments of praise. Well-known singers and the 1,000-strong Brazilian Adventist University choir joined the congregational singing. For about an hour, more than 24,000 voices sang hymns together from the new, recently released Adventist Hymnal as they celebrated the church’s heritage and announced Jesus’ soon coming.
“As I welcome you here today, I hope first of all that God’s name be glorified,” São Paulo Conference president Romualdo Larroca said. “May the faith of each one of us be revived, and may the Holy Spirit be poured into our lives. Let us praise God for all that He has done for His church and, above all, in our lives.”
The São Paulo Conference was organized as a church administrative unit in 1922, years after the Adventist message had arrived thanks to the work of two literature evangelists from southern Brazil. They had visited families in the area and planted a seed that spread quickly across the region.
The São Paulo Mission was created in 1906 in the city of Rio Claro. Then, in 1909, the Brazilian Publishing House opened its doors in what is now the city of Santo André. In 1922, with 750 members and five churches, the mission became São Paulo Conference and moved to the state capital.
Changes over Time
Through the years, the regional Adventist headquarters changed several times, as number of members and churches kept steadily growing. The original large church region was eventually divided into several smaller regions across the populous city and the state.
Currently, the state of São Paulo includes the São Paulo Conference and seven other conferences. Together, they make up the Central Brazil Union Conference, which has close to 290,000 members and 1,300 Adventist congregations.
The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.