Over 1,000 People Attend Calvary Chapel’s Annual Baptism in California
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
This year an astounding crowd gathered to participate in Chino Hills-based Calvary Chapel’s annual outdoor baptism at a beach in Orange County, California.
Calvary Chapel hosts a baptism every year at Newport Beach’s Corona Del Mar State Beach. However, this year roughly 1,000 people showed up to get baptized or show their support. The pastor, Jacob Hibbs, said it was the largest turnout the church had ever seen. He later posted on his Facebook that “GOD IS ON THE MOVE.”
“California may be experiencing a spiritual revival,” Calvary Chapel Church Director Gina Gleason told CBN News.
According to Gleason, the numbers at this year’s baptism far surpassed the typical turnout of around 300 people.
In California, churches are forced to be creative in how they meet due to the rules and regulations set for religious institutions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many churches moved their services outside, and meeting on the beach is a readily available option for many congregations.
Sean Feucht, a Bethel Music worship leader, noted that the professions of faith are worshipful and are “a return back to a gritty, raw gospel, Jesus People movement foundation.”
“A lot of that is in part because we can’t be in our churches,” Feucht told the Christian Post. “We are kind of forced to be outside of our buildings and forced to be innovative and creative and come up with alternate solutions.”
Pastor Hibbs is vocal about his disagreements with many of the restrictions California has imposed on churches. Recently, he posted on Facebook, challenging pastors to continue to minister to their “flock.”
“If pastors are still debating among themselves whether or not to open up their churches, to get back to ministering to the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of their flock and to the preaching of the gospel—then I ask you when?” Hibbs said on Facebook.
Calvary Chapel provides other opportunities to worship as a body of Christ for an event called “Come Back California.” After a week of prayer, fasting, and specific evening services at Calvary Chapel, Hibbs will partake in an all-day social media event. People are encouraged to come in person or attend the event online.
Hibbs continued to implore the church, as a whole, to pray for healing and revival in California. He urged that Christians turn their “homes and churches into sanctuaries of prayer and worship” to seek “a radical move of God” in California.
The services will be streamed online so that people can join in times of prayer. Each day will cater to different topics concerning our world today. On Monday, worshipers prayed for “purity and holiness within the church.” On Tuesday, the church prayed for the “governor, state, and local leaders.”
On Wednesday, Hibbs planned to “examine God’s prophetic Word in light of current world events.” On Thursday, people will pray for “military, law enforcement, and first responders.” Finally, on Friday, the prayer service will focus on “the sins and injustices of our nation” and “for our president, national leaders, and the upcoming election.”
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