Annual evangelistic seminars have resulted in a total of 8,000 baptisms.
Published on: 02-26-2020
Members of Tumbulgum Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tumbulgum, New South Wales, Australia, have been reaching out to communities in India by conducting annual evangelistic seminars and supporting widows through funds raised at the congregation’s Tweed Valley thrift shop.
The ministry is led by church elder Robert Meyers, who has been returning to India annually for 20 years to hold evangelistic seminars in Karnataka’s capital, Bangalore, and its remote villages in the Bidar and Bijapur districts.
As a result, hundreds of Adventist ministers have received training and revival, and many non-Adventist ministers and laypeople have been baptized, according to the ministry leaders.
“We’ve baptized about eight thousand people [since we began the ministry],” Meyers said. “The Lord has allowed us to be very successful since David Lamb and I started visiting Karnataka 20 years ago.”
Since then, Lamb has ceased visiting India for health reasons, but that hasn’t stopped Meyers, thanks to the assistance of Daniel Padmaraj from the Southern Asia Division (SUD), who, for the past decade, has done most of the planning and scheduling for visitation and evangelistic programs.
The most recent evangelistic seminar was held at the Seventh-day Adventist Pre-University College auditorium in Bangalore, October 8-31, 2019, on the topic of Revelation.
Johnson Jacob Thadi, ministerial director of SUD, was joined by South-Central India Union president Suresh Daniel Siddaiah and Bangalore Metro Conference president Joseph Mahadev to conduct the opening ceremony.
Each night, meetings began with prayers, a song service, and a Q&A session, followed by the Revelation seminar by Meyers, who was assisted by Tumbulgum elder Allyn Barden. A supper followed every evening program.
More than 80 Adventist pastors partnered with 80 non-Adventist pastors to attend the 24-day program.
“Each Adventist pastor that was invited to come along was asked to bring a pastor of a different denomination,” Meyers said. “I thought, why not invite independent pastors and support them throughout the program? Many of them came along for all 24 programs.”
Over the three weeks, many attendees gave their testimonies and shared what they’d learned from the book of Revelation, including the importance of the Sabbath.
“They were up there on stage, crying and saying that for 10, 25, 40 years they’d been trying to understand Daniel and Revelation … [and that] they now understood it and are going to teach their congregations,” Meyers explained.
Meyers and Barden also visited the homes and churches of many independent pastors to preach in their churches on Sundays and share teachings from the gospel and Revelation.
“Some came to my hotel room, asking how they could tell their congregations that Saturday was the true day of worship. So I spoke to them and ran them through it,” Meyers added.
A graduation was held at the end of the seminar series, with certificates issued to all regular attendees.
On the final night, Elder Selvaraj, a non-Adventist attendee, asked that he and his wife be baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Three other independent pastors also made the same commitment, along with their congregations.
Currently, follow-up visitations and Bible studies are being conducted for seminar attendees.
“Our focus has been on running evangelistic meetings in rural areas for villages,” Meyers said, “but we also have a ministry for widows and poor people in the villages.”