12,000 Baptized in Historic California Event: ‘God Is Not Done with America’

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated May 21, 2024
12,000 Baptized in Historic California Event: ‘God Is Not Done with America’

Hundreds of churches across California teamed up on Pentecost Sunday weekend to baptize some 12,000 people as part of a “Baptize California” campaign that was billed as one of the largest synchronized water baptism events in history. The Saturday-Sunday event saw more than 6,000 people baptized at the campaign’s headquarters in Huntington Beach, Calif., and an additional 6,000 baptized at participating churches across the state, according to preliminary numbers cited in Faithwire

“God is not done with America, and we are convinced that if we can unite the Church and turn fully back to Jesus, He will heal our land,” said pastor Mark Francey of Oceans Church, which hosted the campaign. 

The event was a follow-up to last year’s Baptize SoCal event, which saw more than 4,000 people baptized at Pirate’s Cove in Corona del Mar, Calif. Organizers are already planning for a nationwide Baptize America campaign for Pentecost Sunday 2025 (June 8) which they say will be a “a historic day across” the U.S.

Baptize California also was historic, as thousands gathered on a sunny day at Huntington Beach to proclaim the name of Christ and begin their journey in the faith. Churches of different denominations united for the event – not only at Huntington Beach but throughout the state. Artists such as Bethel Music, SEU Worship and Bodie led gatherers on Huntington Beach in worship. 

“Best Day Ever. God did it! Thank you everyone that made it happen,” Francey wrote on Instagram. “Jesus gets all the glory & California gets to start the wave of awakening once again.”

Francey believes “God has more in store for California,” as evident in the “increasing resurgence and spiritual hunger among individuals and churches in the state” that is “fostering a sense of unity and promoting widespread spiritual awakening.”

His wife, co-pastor Rachelle Francey, said the Huntington Beach site saw “hearts healed, lives changed, and many souls committing themselves to Christ.

“Despite the naysayers and those who have cursed this state, we declare with confidence that God loves California!” she said. “He has a plan and purpose for this land and its people. We are seeing a fresh outpouring of His Spirit, a rekindling of faith, and a movement of unity within the body of Christ, and hope that cannot be denied.”

Sandals Church in Southern California is one of the congregations that participated and baptized individuals on its campus. 

“It’s the largest gathering for baptisms in the state history. That’s why I wanted to be a part of it,” Sandals pastor Mark Brown told Baptist Press. “I think it’s a big win for the big C Church and for me as a Baptist. Oftentimes, we are known and defined by what we’re against, rather than what we’re for. And that’s why I thought it was important, as one of the largest Baptist churches in the state, that I tip my hat.”

Photo credit: Baptize California

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.