These reports came in from Wallace Henley, Sr. Pastor of the Encourager Church in Houston
Some 490 people were baptized Sunday, July 27,1997, at a huge Houston water park, as a dozen churches joined for a common baptism service. Richard Hinojosa, youth pastor for Encourager Church, preached, and 100 more received the LORD on the spot. The giant wave pool--the size of a football field--at Adventure Bay, was the site of the mass baptism.
The event was organized by Doug Stringer and Turning Point Ministries. Pastors of all types were in the water--Anglos, Hispanics, Blacks, Orientals, men, women, young, old--side by side. The ministry was under an "open heaven." Many of the people who were baptized would be prayed for as they came up out of the water, and began to fall under the Spirit. They had to be held up lest they fall under the water and drown! Those baptized included children, whole families, young people with gang tatoos--even a young man tatooed with the word "unforgiven." That tatoo will have to be removed because he experienced Christ's forgiveness.
The local television newscasts carried the report on 10 pm broadcasts. One TV photographer went into the water, clothes and all, so he could film the action as close as possible. Ed and Mary Ann Arrighi own Adventure Bay, which is located in an area of Houston with mosques, Hindu temples, and other pagan centers of religion. But the principalities were overwhelmed!
Wallace Henley, Senior Pastor
The Encourager Church of Houston
Encourager Church, Houston, Texas, has seen 600 people register decisions to follow Christ in the last five days. The outpouring began Sunday, July 13, as Carlos Annacondia of Argentine, ministered in both morning services. The first service flowed into the second, with dozens still at the altar or on the floor. Ministry after the second service continued until after 2 pm.
On July 16-20, John Jacobs and the Power Team ministered at Encourager. Each evening, people literally ran and surged to the altar, and were taken into a gymnasium for counseling. Next Sunday, July 27, Encourager is linked with other Houston churches and Turning Point Ministries (led by Doug Stringer) in a citywide open-air baptism service at Adventure Bay, a huge water park owned by Encourager members Ed and Mary Ann Arrighi. They see the water park as a place for ministry. The Power Team performed and preached there July 20, and Encourager counselors began ministering to people in bikinis and other forms of dress. The harvest is here! Wallace Henley, Senior Pastor, The Encourager Church of Houston