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Historic evangelism meetings in Rwanda yield 97,344 baptisms

Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, says members in Rwanda have set an example to the rest of the world church.

Historic evangelism meetings in Rwanda yield 97,344 baptisms

[Photo courtesy of the East-Central Africa Division]

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A record breaking 97,344 people in Rwanda committed themselves to Christ and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church through baptism as a result of an evangelistic series that took place throughout the country from May 13 – May 28. 

Additional baptisms connected to ongoing meetings during the next few weeks are expected to bring the total to more than 100,000, making the series the largest of its kind in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 

In his remarks, Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, commended the Church in Rwanda for being an unprecedented model of “Total Member Involvement." 

“You are an example for the entire world. We praise God for that,” Wilson told a crowd of 6,000 people at the final Sabbath worship service in the city of Gisenyi. 

“Total Member Involvement” is an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that encourages its 19.1 million members worldwide to find ways to share Jesus with friends and community members. The previous record was 30,000 baptisms after a two-week evangelistic series in Zimbabwe in May 2015. 

Herson Byilingiro, president of the church in Rwanda, observed that many were amazed at the level of the members’ participation throughout the evangelistic series.   

Through their interactions and outreach ministries with locals in their communities, Church members throughout Rwanda embodied sermons. Members gave cows to the most vulnerable people in their communities, paid for health insurance, built and rehabilitated houses, paved roads, visited the sick and incarcerated, built bridges, and donated food and clothes. The value of all the time and goods donated exceeded more than 262,571,070 Rwandian Francs, or $335,773 (USD). 

With the newest additions to the church in Rwanda, local membership has topped 815,000 in the country of 11.8 million people.

For more on the evangelistic series in Rwanda, watch the latest episode of ANN