April 7, 2020 | Medellin, Colombia | Daniela Arrieta/IAD News Staff
Faced with the recent closing due to social distancing orders of its 1,588 congregations across the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North Colombia, church leaders teamed up to transition its membership to streaming worship services with a special 24-hour live program. The live event, which began Friday night, March 20 and ended Saturday night, March 21, was carried through the church’s online Esperanza Colombia Radio and its Hope Media Center for its online television channel.
“In such a complicated moment for our church, where churches cannot be open to congregants, we wanted the membership to feel that the church is with them in their homes providing all of the activities they take part in every Sabbath,” said Luis Gabriel Moreno, communication director for the church in North Colombia. “Our mission in the communication department is to testify through all available communication channels to share the message of salvation.”
Henry Salgado, director of Hope Colombia Radio, said at the time that when churches and schools were closing fast, he immediately thought that there had to be a way to continue ministering to the church membership. The radio station covers 18 municipal districts with more than five million in the State of Antioquia but it streams its program online as well. “God put it in my heart a plan for 24 hours of transmission and just about the same time Pastor Moreno also had the same idea,” said Salgado.
It was the first time that the church in North Colombia carried a special live event for 24 hours straight and one that had never had such response online, church leaders said. The union’s Facebook page saw more than 100,000 shares, and more than 12,000 on YouTube.