Upstate Church in South Carolina baptized 141 people on Sunday across its six campus locations.
That number significantly topped its previous high of 35.
“We have never seen anything like this in our church,” Upstate Church senior pastor Wayne Bray told the Baptist Press. “To think that 141 people followed the Lord in baptism is truly unimaginable for me.”
“Of the total, 86 had confirmed in advance that they wished to be baptized, while 55 others made the decision during the worship service when the church offered up an invitation,” The Christian Post reported.
“Every decision was confirmed by a minister prior to being added to the list. We had high expectations, but we never expected 86 new believers to register in the weeks leading up to Dec. 3,” Bray said.
Bray told the Post the congregation had been going through a one-month sermon series on the ordinances of the church, including baptism.
“I can’t adequately express how amazing it was to be a part of the day,” he said. “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.”
Acts 2 records the Holy Spirit coming on the disciples in Jerusalem on Pentecost, causing them to speak in foreign languages from faraway regions they did not know.
The Apostle Peter then preached about Jesus being raised from the dead and being among them before ascending into heaven just days before Pentecost.
That day about 3,000 people came to faith, according to the Bible.
Wray explained of Upstate Church’s mission, “We don’t just want to be a church that makes disciples. We want to be a church full of disciple makers.”
The church has grown from about 4,500 members in 2014 to over 7,000 in 2023, according to the Press.
Other mass baptism events have been taking place around the country this year.
“In July, approximately 4,500 people were baptized at Pirate’s Cove Beach in California in an event organized by Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Christian Fellowship,” the Post reported.
💀 🏴☠️ PIRATE’S COVE
The waters of baptism signify death to living for ourself, and raising to new life with Christ.
Here are some pictures from the largest baptism in US history which took place yesterday at Pirates Cove, the historic site of the Jesus Movement in Southern… pic.twitter.com/cWyW677SlW
— Matt Brown (@evangelistmatt) July 9, 2023
Laurie attributed the massive turnout in part to the “Jesus Revolution” movie released in February.
Laurie’s journey to faith as a teenager is portrayed in the film, which is about the Jesus People movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when perhaps millions became Christians.
Hal Sacks, who leads the Arizona-based ministry BridgeBuilders International with his wife Cheryl, also came to faith during the Jesus People movement.
He told The Western Journal he sees the first potential signs of revival in “pockets of hunger, of concern, of desperation,” but it’s not widespread yet.
“I believe God has heard our prayers,” Sacks said. “I believe God has heard our cries for awakening and for revival and for reformation and our cries of desperation. And I believe he’s coming and responding to it.
“And with his coming, this will bring the shaking. Just like he did on Sinai when he showed up on the mountain — things shook. Just like he did in the book of Acts, Chapter 4. People prayed, and the first thing that happened — things shook, then they got filled with the Holy Spirit,” he said.
Cheryl Sacks pointed to the spiritual awakening that broke out at Asbury University in Kentucky in February as an example of God’s Spirit being on the move.
“It is very refreshing to see what the Lord is doing. And, you know, it makes me think about the … revival that’s in Isaiah 44:3, where he says, ‘I will pour water upon him who is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground,'” she said.
Michael Maiden, lead pastor of Church for the Nations in Phoenix, likened what’s happening now spiritually in the country to popping popcorn.
“Whenever you start popcorn or start heating it, nothing happens. Then all of a sudden a kernel pops, then another one, then a bunch. It’s like a multiplying factor takes over, and before you know it the whole bag is ready to be eaten,” he said.
For example, a mass baptism took place at Auburn University in Alabama in September after a worship event on campus.
A revival is happening tonight in Auburn. People are getting baptized at Red Barn with hundreds of people cheering them on. The baptisms started following an event at Neville arena tonight called Unite. @TheAUPlainsman @AUFAMILY pic.twitter.com/PzEza1UWKz
— Kristen Carr (@kristencarrau) September 13, 2023
“There are measurable signs in the culture,” Maiden said. “Not of a broad, complete revival, but the beginning kernels popping or … the first waves of something good happening.
“So I’ve 1,000 percent confidence that the greatest spiritual awakening in our country’s history is in its beginning stage and these next years we’re going to see it.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.