Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Pennsylvania Conference, Jesus Loves Philly, Hispanic Ministries, Saud Elias

‘Jesus Loves Philly’

Story by Tamyra Horst

Five churches. One city. Nearly 240,000 people in the Hispanic community. “‘Jesus Loves Philly’ is a movement created by Hispanic Ministries as a strategy to share the gospel in Philadelphia,” shares Saud Elias, Pennsylvania Conference’s Hispanic Ministries coordinator. “Our objective is to reach the population in this area that is close to 240,000 Hispanics that need to know that Jesus loves them.”

Members and pastors of the Juniata, Lawndale, Maranatha, Philadelphia 1, and Philadelphia 2 churches recently kicked off the initiative with a Hispanic Festival, complete with food and a parade. The five Philadelphia Hispanic churches followed up the event with shared evangelistic meetings. At the conclusion of the two-week event, 15 people decided to be baptized.

“Our baptism goal for 2022 was 300 baptisms in our Hispanic churches. We expect to exceed the goal by the end of December,” says Elias.

Members play a huge part in this work. They invite friends, family and neighbors to small groups in their homes and to evangelistic events. “Our churches are always thinking about growing and connecting with new people,” adds Elias. “As each member shares their testimony with others and studies the Bible with them, united with the power of the Holy Spirit, lives are impacted.” 

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