Hearts Touched....Lives Changed
(Posted June 28, 2013)
As Pastor Ted Wilson, General Conference President, concluded a powerful, spirit-filled sermon on baptism, he made a moving appeal for individuals in the audience to make a full decision for Jesus. Gradually people began to come forward. First just a few came, and, then, more and more surged forward. Soon the front of the Historic Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village church was filled with people. Some had tears streaming down their faces as they surrendered all to Jesus. Others bowed their heads quietly in prayer.
It was a diverse group that came forward on Saturday night, June 22. There were young and old, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Europeans, and Caucasians. Among them was a Columbia University Pre-med student, a New York architect and his wife, a businessman, secretaries, housewives and a host of others. They were part of a total of more than 70 people who have made decisions for baptism during Wilson’s Revelation of Hope Series. Many of these have been baptized already – at the Greenwich Village Church or other venues -- and the rest will be baptized in the very near future—a good number this coming Sabbath, June 29, at a massive event planned for the Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.
The group that responded to Wilson’s baptismal appeal reflected the diversity of New York City’s cosmopolitan nature. The nearly twenty million inhabitants of the Greater New York area are a virtual united nations speaking more than 800 languages. Someone has said, “If you want to visit the world in one city, go to New York.” Possibly this is why Ellen White instructed the church that the work done in New York should be a “symbol” for the world. The Manhattan Revelation of Hope outreach has focused on a comprehensive approach with multiple community health programs, English language classes for Hispanic immigrants, family life presentations, small group Bible study fellowships, massive literature distribution, and personal in home Bible studies, as well as public evangelistic meetings.
The Revelation of Hope Manhattan series with Wilson, General Conference president, is part of a much larger outreach to Greater New York and neighboring New Jersey and Southern Connecticut. In one of the largest outreaches in Seventh-day Adventist history more than 400 evangelistic meetings are being conducted in the area this year.
As of the end of June well over 2,000 individuals will have been baptized. Pastors, lay people and church administrators are actively involved in the mission of the church. In addition to the comprehensive evangelistic outreach in the Metropolitan New York Area, the General Conference is sponsoring an international field school of evangelism for the world field. Over 300 delegates representing each of the thirteen world divisions are sharpening their evangelistic skills. These international delegates will return home to their respective countries to share what they have learned and lead out in comprehensive evangelistic initiatives. Massive evangelistic outreach plans are in place for over 650 cities in the world. Commenting on the Manhattan Revelation of Hope Series, Wilson summarized it well when he said, “What is happening in New York is thrilling and will not end with New York. It will have a major impact on the world.”    


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