As surfers and beach bums took to the sand to spend a summer day in the sun, the members of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills flocked to the water to express their great love and dedication to Christ through baptism.
The California church has regularly celebrated the "joy of salvation" with their congregation, but according to a blog post, this is the biggest turnout for water baptism ever recorded. Over 1,200 chose to surrender their lives to Christ over the weekend.
Calvary Chapel "heralds" this annual event as "one of the most important events of the year," as the church celebrated the decision of those who completed the church's baptism class as well as bystanders who spontaneously decided to join the celebration.
After a blessing and a word from Pastor Jack Hibbs on the spiritual importance of baptism at 9 a.m., the pastoral leadership were joined in the water by those hungry to declare their love for Jesus.
The event gathered such a large crowd that some of those visiting Pirates Cove Corona Del Mar were able to speak with Pastor Hibbs and celebrate spiritual renewal in their life as well.
The church declared that not only was this event highly encouraging for their congregation, but was also a signal that "the Lord is working spiritual revival in the community of Southern California."
In a series of Facebook posts, the church shared the most joyful of moments as new believers declared they were "all in" for Jesus.
Pastor Hibbs challenged those gathered to think of the bay as a graveyard. "You're publicly displaying that your life now is buried with Jesus," he said. He also made an important distinction of baptism for believers. "Getting wet in the water here gets you wet. But as a believer getting into this water, it's an announcement that you've been washed in the blood of Jesus."
"Why is that important?" he asked.
"You must be born again to enter into the kingdom of heaven. ... That's why you're here today."
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