Pastor Rick Warren Hails the Congregation.
California-based Saddleback Church, founded in 1980 and led by Pastor Rick Warren, has become the first church in the history of the United States to baptize 50,000 people. Pastor Warren addressed his congregation in a Facebook post, congratulating them for making such an important and valuable milestone possible.
In the Facebook post, the megachurch pastor reminisced on all the significant milestones the church has achieved over the years. These include becoming the first church to spread the Gospel in every country on the map and becoming the first church to grow to 10,000 members despite not owning a building. And during the past weekend, the latest milestone was achieved yet again – baptizing the 50,000th person into the church.
He also announced his love and admiration for the members of his church and how humbled he is to be their pastor. He said his church never fails to amaze him, and that each member is an extraordinary person, who he continually thanks God for.
Warren also shared in his post the only reason the church can turn so many non-believers into believers is because of the members, saying because of their genuine love for people, they bring their friends, family and colleagues to Jesus every single day. Even though Saddleback Church has never had an “outreach” program, they continue to grow significantly because of the efforts of the members to “build bridges of love from our hearts to the hearts of people who don’t know Jesus yet, and then Jesus walks across that bridge.”
Warren praised his congregation for always willingly adapting to the many changes the church underwent in the past years. It is because of their unselfish and mature attitude to change such as change in locations, programs, personnel, services, and more that the church can reach so many people and guide them towards Jesus. He called them “fast, fluid and flexible” for sacrificing their own comfort multiple times for the greater good.
Last weekend all the 50,000 who have been baptized were recognized, and some even brought in pictures of their baptism ceremony to share with the church. 51-year-old Irene Anderson, who was baptized by Pastor Warren, said her baptism experience was very “special, very different and very gentile,” and that she felt a strong connection to God.