"When the cities are worked as God would have them, the result will be the setting in operation of a mighty movement such as we have not yet witnessed.” Medical Ministry p. 304
There is evidence that this promise is being fulfilled. As members are engaging in comprehensive ministries and hundreds of evangelistic meetings, God is blessing this effort. The number of baptisms in the New York City area this year is up nearly 50 percent from that of last year, which was their highest year. Members and leaders are working together, lives are being changed, miracles are happening, and, because of a very aggressive follow up, more members are being assimilated and trained for service, increasing attendance in the local churches. Leaders say that there is more interest and compassion for the people in New York City than they have seen in years past.
A Second Chance At Baptism
Hilander Torres woke up one Sabbath morning and felt deeply impressed that God was directing him to go to the nearest Seventh-day Adventist Church and be baptized. Nearly seven weeks earlier, Torres had attended all of Revelation of Hope meetings held in the Manhattan Seventh-day Adventist Church, where Elder Ted Wilson, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, had conducted meetings. At the time he had felt convicted by the message, believed it was the truth, and knew he should have been baptized, but for some reason he didn’t do it. For weeks he had been struggling with his decision, and prayed about it, asking God for direction.
Now, as he opened the Yellow Pages to look for the nearest Seventh-day Adventist church, he found the address for the Hanson Place Seventh-day Adventist Church, and went there. As he walked in, he realized that they were just finishing up the same Revelation of Hope series that he had attended weeks earlier! And by divine appointment, they were having a big baptism that day!
After the service, when Dr. Delbert Baker, the speaker for the series and General Vice President for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, made an appeal, Torres eagerly came forward, requesting to be baptized that day. The Bible Worker, surprised at his determination, talked with him and suggested that he may want to study with someone before making this decision. Torres then explained that he had already studied, and had attended all the meetings, and believed it was the truth, and wanted to be baptized. So he took the baptismal vows and was baptized. Hilander praises God for giving him another chance to take his stand for Him. The Hanson Place members are rejoicing that their meetings ended up with 37 baptisms so far.
Importunate Prayers Answered
A Haitian couple lived in the greater New York City area, in a community without a Seventh-day Adventist Church. The wife came in contact with a Seventh-day Adventist lady, and wanted to go to church with her, but the lady’s church was 45 minutes away, making it difficult to attend on a regular basis. So the Haitian lady took her concern to God, and started praying for a Haitian church to come to her community.
In another part of the city, conference leaders targeted several areas around the city where they would plant new churches as a result of NY13. This lady’s community was chosen as one of the targeted areas! And better yet, it was to be a Haitian church, just as she had prayed! Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear (Isa. 65:24, NIV).This dedicated lady was baptized June 29, 2013, along with her three daughters. She was the first member on the register of names for that newly organized Haitian Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Couple Rediscovers Church
A young Chinese architect from the University of Indiana married a woman who had an Adventist background. He went to Notre Dame to get his Master’s degree, and while there, the two periodically attended the Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan. After he graduated from Notre Dame, the couple moved to New York City, but couldn’t find a church that interested both of them. So they began listening to Adventist pastors on the radio. After listening to the radio for some time, the Lord convicted them to return to church. About that same time, they received a flyer in the mail for the Revelation of Hope meetings being conducted in the Manhattan Seventh-day Adventist Church. The couple attended the meetings, and from the beginning, decided to be baptized. Elder Tony Romeo, the local church pastor, had the privilege of baptizing them and welcoming them into the faith.
Med Student Changes Priorities
Moses is a medical student attending the University of Massachusetts. Although he had some Adventist background, he was not baptized. He had a rotation of shadowing a physician at Columbia University, in New York City, during the month of January. While he was there, he attended the weekend Convocation held at Hunter College, where Elder Ted Wilson, Seventh-day Adventist World Church President and other church leaders spoke. Knowing that Elder Wilson would be conducting a series of meetings in New York City in June, he arranged to have his academic schedule changed, so he could be back in New York City to attend the meetings. He faithfully attended and was baptized June 29, 2013 in the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York.
Chained to Sinful Habits
John was a middle-aged man living in Greenwich Village who was brought up Catholic. When his mother received the handbill in the mail for the Revelation of Hope meetings, she gave it to John. John, along with his brother, decided to check out the meetings that were held in the Manhattan Seventh-day Adventist Church. John was touched as he listened to God’s Word, and felt convicted by the Holy Spirit. He wanted to be baptized, but felt chained to several habits he had acquired while living in the world. John pled with God to free him from those controlling habits, and surrendered his life to Christ. God delivered him and gave him victory over his sins. John was baptized June 29, 2013, and became a new person in Christ. His brother also wanted to be baptized, and is currently studying with the local pastor.
Manhattan Life Hope Center
June was the debut month for Life Hope Center at Bryant Park, a Center of Influence that is in Manhattan's Midtown area. The center will offer services such as seminars, presentations, health screening, Bible studies, fitness classes, counseling, vegetarian and plant-based cooking classes, and seminars, in order to connect with the community and reach out to people at their felt needs.
As lunch seminars, happy hour lectures, and other events are being promoted on a monthly basis, a new church is also being planted on the premises. Called The Upper Room at Bryant Park, it meets every Saturday at 5:30 pm. A week-night Bible study meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00 pm, with Thursday being a follow-up study to evangelistic series conducted by Elder Ted Wilson, Seventh-day Adventist Church President.