Pastor Rick Warren has hailed the congregation at his California-based Saddleback Church as it became the first in U.S. history to baptize 50,000 people.
“I never stop being amazed by you. You are extraordinary people, and I continually thank God for what you mean to me,” Warren stated in a letter to the people of the megachurch, shared Saturday on Facebook.
The pastor looked back over the 38 years of milestones that Saddleback has been achieving, such as becoming the first to grow to 10,000 in worship without owning a building, and the first to send the Gospel to all 197 officials nations in the world.
This weekend marked another major milestone, as the 50,000th person was baptized into the faith at Saddleback.
“Imagine all the amazing personal stories of changed lives behind that number! 50,000 individual lives transformed by Jesus since Saddleback Church began. This is unprecedented in history! YOU are likely one of those stories of a changed life!” read Warren’s letter.
The best-selling author said that “love” is the main reason why the church has been so successful.
“YOU genuinely love people and you want them to go to Heaven with you! Every day, you bring your friends, co-workers, and family to Jesus,” he said.
“Honestly, I’ve never seen a group like you anywhere else in the world. I’m humbled to be your pastor, and I could not be more proud of you.”
Warren revealed that all 50,000 people who have been baptized at Saddleback over the past 38 years were recognized over the weekend, with people bringing photos of their ceremonies to be shared.
The California preacher recalled his small town and small church upbringing, and how he was inspired by the large ministries of other Christian leaders to dream of big things.
He also reflected on growth of the first Christian church in Jerusalem, pointing to Acts 2:47 in the Bible, which reads: “Everyday the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov