Last Sunday, Upstate Church, also known as First Baptist Simpsonville, a prominent South Carolina megachurch, witnessed a profound spiritual event as 141 new believers were baptized during the service. Recognized for its six campuses and a congregation of nearly 7,000 members, the church typically experiences 30 to 40 baptisms each month.
The momentous occasion unfolded during a baptism ceremony that surpassed all expectations. Taking to Facebook, the ministry joyfully shared, “141!!! We cannot get over what God did on Sunday. 141 lives that have gone from death to life and 141 people who made the decision to follow Christ in obedience through baptism. This is only the beginning! Jesus, we can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.”
Senior Pastor Wayne Bray, reflecting on the extraordinary occurrence, conveyed his awe, stating, “We have never seen anything like this in our church.” Expressing gratitude for being part of Upstate Church, he marveled at the unprecedented number of individuals choosing to be baptized.
The mass baptism was part of a sermon series on the ordinances of the church, including baptism. Initially, 86 individuals had signed up for baptism during the service, but an additional 55 made the decision spontaneously when an invitation was extended during worship.
Pastor Bray remarked, “Our hope was to have someone scheduled for baptism in every service on every campus. By Friday, Dec. 1, we already had 86 baptisms scheduled across all our campuses. This was overwhelming, but it gave us even more confidence to preach the gospel on Sunday, expecting the Holy Spirit to move. We had 55 additional decisions (Sunday) across all locations.”
In a conversation with the Christian Post, Pastor Bray described the overwhelming response as akin to living the Book of Acts. Ministers from the church engaged with those baptized and those who chose to embrace Jesus Christ.
“We’ve been saying this often: We don’t just want to be a church that makes disciples. We want to be a church full of disciple-makers,” Bray emphasized. Expressing confidence in the church’s readiness to guide and disciple new believers, he highlighted the significance of small groups and mentoring in the spiritual growth process.
Upstate Church has witnessed substantial growth, with membership increasing by more than 57 percent over the last decade, as reported in the Annual Church Profile. With existing sites in Simpsonville, Anderson, Greenville, and Mauldin, plans are underway to add a site in Laurens. Bray acknowledged the church’s longstanding commitment to evangelism but noted a special movement of God in recent years, underscoring the significance of the transformative events experienced by the congregation.