SC Church Baptizes 141 in 1 Day, Points to Book of Acts: 'God Doing Something Special'
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A South Carolina megachurch baptized 141 new believers during service last Sunday with dozens more making decisions to follow Christ.
Upstate Church also known as First Baptist Simpsonville, is a six-campus congregation with nearly 7,000 members and typically draws 30 to 40 people during its baptism ceremonies each month.
"141!!! We cannot get over what God did on Sunday. 141 lives that have gone from death to life and 141 people who made the decision to follow Christ in obedience through baptism. This is only the beginning! Jesus, we can't wait to see what you'll do next," the ministry wrote on Facebook.
Senior Pastor Wayne Bray told the Baptist Press that the Holy Spirit was at work during last week's service.
"We have never seen anything like this in our church," Bray told the outlet. "To think that 141 people followed the Lord in baptism is truly unimaginable for me. I feel so blessed to be the pastor of Upstate Church."
Bray said the mass baptism came as part of a sermon series on the ordinances of the church, including baptism.
Initially, 86 people signed up to get baptized during Sunday's service, but then 55 others made the decision to do it when an invitation was extended during worship service.
"Our hope was to have someone scheduled for baptism in every service on every campus. By Friday, Dec. 1, we already had 86 baptisms scheduled across all our campuses," he said. "This was overwhelming, but it gave us even more confidence to preach the gospel on Sunday, expecting the Holy Spirit to move."
"We had 55 additional decisions (Sunday) across all locations."
Bray told the Christian Post he was overwhelmed by the response.
"I can't adequately express how amazing it was to be a part of the day. More than any other moment in my ministry, I felt like we were living the book of Acts. We had preached from Acts 2, and it seemed as if we were in the pages ourselves," he said.
Ministers with the church met with those who were baptized and those who made a decision to give their lives to Jesus Christ.
"We've been saying this often: We don't just want to be a church that makes disciples. We want to be a church full of disciple-makers," Bray told the Baptist Courier. "That is our heart, and we believe that is what God is doing at Upstate Church. God's timing is always perfect, but sometimes it's more obvious to us. This is one of those times when it's easy to see His hand at work.
Our church has never been more prepared to disciple these new believers," he added.
Bray shared that small groups and mentoring are key parts of the process.
Membership at the six-site church has grown by more than 57 percent over the last decade, according to the Annual Church Profile. The church has sites in Simpsonville, Anderson, Greenville, and Mauldin with plans underway to add a site in Laurens.
The church has long been evangelistic, according to Bray. "But God has certainly been doing something special these past few years," he said.
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