Published:May 18, 2024



A Southern California church is leading a mission to baptize 30,000 people on Sunday in regional events around the state.

Oceans Church baptized a whopping 4,166 people in its 2023 “Baptize California” event at Pirate’s Cove in Newport Beach, and, now, Rev. Mark Francey is trying to beat its previous record by a lot.

The Irvine-based church has enlisted more than 300 congregations across the state to participate in the upcoming event, with Oceans funding 85 percent of the “million-dollar endeavor,” Francey told the Washington Times.

Churches in 54 of California’s 56 counties will be participating in the mass baptism events, including one set to take place at Huntington Beach, which the reverend said could baptize as many as 10,000 people.

“Our church is excited about revival,” Francey told the publication. “We want to see God awakened. We’re tired of the darkness in California. We believe that God wants people to know about it, and if we will put our money where our frustration is, that God could do something great.”

The other 15 percent of costs associated with the baptisms — which will include events at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and Los Angeles’s Redondo Beach — are to be covered by external donors.

“This year, we can go somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 people baptized in one day, which would be the largest synchronized water baptism in history that we know,” Francey said.

“We’re swinging for the fence, we’re praying for the fence, and we’re preparing for it,” he added. “We’ll let the results stay in God’s lap, but we’re trying our best to do our side.”

Francey hopes to eventually take his project nationwide, with a “Baptize America” event set for June 2025.

“What God’s doing in California is not going to stop here,” the pastor said. “It’s going to go to all of America. Like [God] did it in a new way as the ‘Jesus People’ movement. We believe that if God could do that 30,000 in California, it could happen all over America, and we’re not going to stop there.”