Pastor O’Connor reaches out to the large crowd at the Women for Jesus Rally at Kings Church in early October.

The recently held Women for Jesus Rally not only filled the Kings Church to near capacity for week night services, but, also, by the last day (Saturday, 7 October), the church was hard-pressed to accommodate the overflow crowd.

As more and more people arrived on the final day it became necessary to extend the 1,500 capacity of the Conference’s largest Church. Rows were added at the front, as close as possible to the platform, while other chairs were packed to the rear wall. The balconies, too, were pressed into accommodating as many as possible.

In the end, fifteen persons made their decision for Christ. Bible workers are now busy behind the scenes with many others who are in the process of making a decision for the Lord.

While the preacher is usually the prime draw, even for Pastor Shion O’Connor, known for his preaching skills, the crowd sizes for a Women’s Rally on the local scene were unusual in recent times. The extra edge came, Pastor O’Connor, believes, as a result of the extent to which technology had been put to work in support of the rally. As Pastor O’Connor noted, “This was truly a multi-media event.”

Among media innovations, it was the first live telecast of a campaign on the Conference’s Cayman Adventist TV (CATV), although not the first live campaign broadcast on Praise 87.9. or via the Internet for both media.

Another first for this campaign was the intensive and wide-scale pre-rally advertising via both the Conference’s own broadcast media (Praise 87.9 and CATV), and on private and government media, respectively Cayman 27 television and Radio Cayman.

Meanwhile, the multi-media approach continued during the week of the rally when social media came into play. As church members accessed the Conference’s Facebook page, they shared widely with friends.

Adding to the creativity and novelty of the programme, each night TV hosts, Mesdames Denisha Dracket, Jewel Meikle, and Sashoy Duncan, presented at the start and the conclusion of the service. They explained to the remote audiences what was taking place and offered telephone numbers and an email address for persons who wished prayer, a visit, or Bible study.

As an example of the response by the remote audiences, one person viewing the appeal on CATV at the end of the service texted Women’s Ministries Leader Paulette Wright Hall requesting transportation to be taken to the church to claim the last baptismal robe.

“She texted me to say that the robe was for her and asked me to come to get her,” Ms Wright Hall said. Unfortunately, Ms Hall was participating in the service and had turned her phone off. With later follow up, that individual was subsequently baptised at the Savannah Church.

Another Women’s Ministries’ leader, Ms Ina Ramos, reported: “I just want you to know that people who were watching and listening via the broadcast media are still surrendering their hearts to Jesus.” Ms Ramos explained: “We have a lady who was listening via radio who is coming to our church this Sabbath.”

In another instance, one Bodden Town resident, a long-standing member of another denomination, reported to Women’s Ministries Director Sheila Woods that she had to come to a service after having listened on radio all week to the messages by Pastor O’Connor. So, on Saturday (7 Oct.) she was counted among the congregants gathered for the final service in the campaign.

Meanwhile the engineer for CATV, Mr. Kaneil Barrett, reported that, in addition to those watching on CATV, some 2,820 persons were watching the video transmission locally and internationally via the Internet. Internet viewers clocked a total of some 638 hours on the hour-and-a-half service. Of that figure, 75% were watching from homes in Cayman, while another 13% were watching from the United States. Viewers in Jamaica number 3.8%.

In total, Internet viewership extended to some 32 other countries, including Canada, the UK, India, Germany, Australia, Italy, the Russian Federation, Turkey, France, Mexico, and the Philippines.

On the radio side, in addition to those listening on local radios, a total 966, had tuned in via the Internet. Of this figure 748 were in the Cayman Islands, while 218 listened from across the world. Among the local Internet listeners, 543 had tuned via their cell phones.

Of course, while technology vastly extends the reach of the message, organisers were cognisant that personal contacts were critical. So Conference Bible workers, Elder Joshua Lawrence and Mr. Norman Battick, and others based in churches, were working behind the scenes.

In addition to the Bible workers, Women’s Ministries’ leaders, volunteers and other supporters were busy inviting women at their workplaces and in their neighbourhoods. “No doubt they will be following up as the impact of the rally continues to be felt among those who attended or tuned in on the Conference’s broadcast media,” Women’s Ministries’ Director Woods said.

Commenting on the capacity crowds, Mrs. Woods said: “We are just very delighted that God was guiding all our plans and blessed us with these good outcomes to the benefit of the Cayman people. We give all the glory to God.” Mrs. Woods thanked members and the many visitors who attended.

“I especially want to pay tribute to Manager of Praise 87.9 Dwayne Euter; CATV’s Associate Television Producer Devarro Whittaker and Mr. Kaneil Barrett, the engineer for CATV,” the Women’s Ministries’ Director said. “So much of the local outreach would not have been possible without their amazing technical capabilities in transmitting the services locally and worldwide,” she said, adding: “Most definitely, we would not have had that international impact that we did.”

“Of course, the preacher carries the sway in the end,” Mrs. Woods reminded. “In the end we had to have a good product. I pay tribute to Pastor O’Connor who continues to be a great supporter of the Women’s Ministries and yet again allowed God to use him to the furtherance of His Kingdom.”

Mrs. Woods said that she anticipates that the harvest would continue to grow from the seeds sown during the week of the rally.

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