Nearly 1,000 people were baptized during what a California pastor calls their church's biggest baptism, despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Calvary Church's yearly outdoor baptism event took place at Corona Del Mar Beach in Orange County on Sept. 12, the Christian Post reports.
It was a record number of attendees and people choosing to take the spiritual plunge to physically show their commitment to their faith.
Calvary Church director Gina Gleason says the huge turn out my reflect a "spiritual revival" seen recently in southern California. She says the number of attendees at the baptism event was "remarkable and a significant number."
Usually, the event draws around 300 attendees.
Pastor Jack Hibbs says the baptism was Calvary Church's "biggest to date."
Since COVID-19 restrictions were first imposed on religious services in the state, these spiritual revivals at California beaches have become more common. Churches in California currently face limitations on indoor gatherings, forcing many outside.
Weekly worship sessions on the beach were held in July by the group Saturate OC, giving attendees opportunities to hear the Word of God and "be baptized in the ocean."
Health orders in many counties in the state require people to maintain physical distancing and wear masks while at outdoor gatherings, among other restrictions. However, some restrictions have begun to be relaxed in Orange County where the beach is located. California is averaging over 100,000 tests a day with a positivity rate of 3.8 per cent, according to the governor's office.
Corona del Mar Beach has been a popular place for baptisms en masse for many years. More than 550 people were baptized in 2018 by evangelist Greg Laurie. Such events have only become more popular, however, since the emergence of the novel coronavirus.