Lay-led evangelism based on longstanding college friendships results in 370 baptisms.
Published on: 07-13-2019
A group of Seventh-day Adventist lay people comprising two trial court judges, two medical doctors, other health professionals, some teachers, businesspeople, and government employees have teamed up to support the Total Member Involvement (TMI) initiative of the church by doing public evangelism together. They decided to take turns preaching, singing, and giving lectures every night for one week.
The series of evangelistic meetings was held in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, in the Southern Philippines, from June 30 to July 6, 2019. Organizers said that it applied the principles of TMI, a plan of the world church to get every member involved in sharing Jesus with their neighbors and friends. In this case, it was an evangelism partnership initiated by lay members and supported by the church leadership, which resulted in the baptism of 370 people, they said.
Most of the members comprising the team trace back their missionary zeal more than thirty years, when they were students of Mountain View College (MVC), a Seventh-day Adventist school in the province of Bukidnon, Philippines. Judge Chalmer Givieso, one of the team members, shared that while studying at MVC, he and some friends had formed the singing group Royal Syncrasy. Their goal at that time was to reach out to the surrounding communities and cities by sharing Adventist literature and Christian music. “After three decades, we managed to contact the group members again and rekindled their missionary spirit by deciding to have a joint public evangelistic meeting,” Givieso said.
During the baptism ceremony, Joselito Romero, one of the newly baptized members, caught the attention of participants by raising his hands in gratitude, as he kept telling people, “I am now a Seventh-day Adventist!” As Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) associate treasurer Daryl Gay Atiteo-Tanamal congratulated him, Romero whispered, “I will be a Seventh-day Adventist till my last breath.”
Organizers reported that the event received the financial and moral support of church leaders from the SSD, the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC), and the Davao Mission. Church members and local pastors worked hand in hand in the evangelistic effort. Encouraged by the result of this initiative, the group has committed to sponsoring one public evangelistic meeting every year across the SPUC, leaders said.