Morata 1 Seventh-Day Adventist Church / Facebook

The Seventh-Day Adventist church is celebrating the success of its “PNG for Christ” series, after announcing the baptisms of over 300,000 people in Papua New Guinea. The campaign was a combined effort between the Seventh-Day Adventist’s South Pacific Division, the Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM), the General Conference, and Adventist World Radio. Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-Day Adventist world church announced the numbers on May 19 on Facebook, writing, “PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!! The latest information from the South Pacific Division and the Papua New Guinea Union Mission is that 278,369 people have been baptized so far in ‘PNG for Christ’ with only about 52 percent of the over 2000 sites reporting……this is a miracle of God!” The high numbers required special baptismal pools to be constructed, with some being able to hold as many as 1,000 people.

The announcement called the campaign a “reaping” campaign. PNGUM pastors had met with people before baptism to ensure that candidates fully understood the undertaking. Visiting pastors and dignitaries assisted with the baptisms due to the large numbers. There were several reports of changed lives, with the South Pacific Division Record announcing, “Stories of drug lords burning their marijuana crops and being baptised, prisoners responding to calls, whole villages declaring themselves Adventist, healings and people understanding the gospel presentations in their own languages are just some of things that have been reported.” Pastor Miller Kuso, personal ministry director for PNGUM who coordinated PNG for Christ oversaw 2,000 sites where baptism events were held. “It is a great privilege and honor for me to visit different sites right across our country. I would like to thank [the almost 300 international speakers] for standing together, as a movement, with PNGUM to deliver the message of hope, the message of salvation to the people of this great nation of Papua New Guinea,” he said.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church has already had a huge presence in the Papua New Guinea region. The country’s current prime minister, James Marape, who was elected in 2019, is a member of the church. The current PNGUM membership is reported around 400,000, meaning the number could more that double with these new baptisms. There was another report that a Church of Christ in the Banz township had converted to a Seventh-Day Adventist Church. A number of other denominations in the area have converted since 2018.

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