About 500 Hispanics attended a concert at Skyline High School Friday night to learn about Jesus Christ during this weekend's last hurrah for the Southern Baptist Convention.
In an evangelistic effort focused on Salt Lake's Hispanic community, Southern Baptist organizers put the clarion call of their newly elected president into action. They were preaching the gospel to everyone who would listen."A lot of people don't know the gospel. The concert presents the truth about Jesus Christ. It's to make more Christians and a big opportunity to present the gospel," said the Rev. Reynaldo Cantu.
The message to the crowd was provided by the popular Mexican singer Yuri, who converted to Christianity after a life-threatening incident. The female vocalist was joined by William Ortega, a missionary for Hispanics serving with the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board.
"Three years ago, I had a tumor in my throat and I was singing since I was a child," said Yuri. "For me, it was difficult staying at home. I felt lonely. I had money, fame, the best-looking men . . . but spiritually I was empty. Jesus Christ knocked on the door of my heart and I challenged him.
"I believed him. I told him if he was powerful, to heal my throat, to rescue my brother from drugs . . . I promised that I would give my voice and life and use my fame to follow him and three months later, he gave me everything I asked for. That made me realize (there are) other beliefs and sects, but they didn't fulfill any of those dreams and requests," Yuri said through an interpreter.
Her message to the crowd was Jesus Christ is the only one that saves people from wrong-doing.
"I do not convince anyone. Jesus does it. I am an instrument of God. I am a useful servant and I told them that we are on the last days, and the days are coming with false doctrines and false prophets, and none of those things in life save your soul. Jesus Christ is the only one that saves. He is the only one that forgives sins" she said.
While most in the audience approved the message, some didn't like the way it was delivered.
"I think it's really great. It shows they (the Southern Baptists) have a lot of faith. I'm not a big supporter of what they've said about other religions, but I am not a big supporter of organized religion," said Chris Herrera.
"I came to see Yuri and praise the Lord. People love it. Yuri is the main focus for us. The doctrine is different from the LDS religion. We're trying to reach everyone," said Rosangela Corado.
"We live in a world that is lost, a world that is looking for a meaning in life, and we know that because teenagers are killing adults, there's a lot of adultery, people (are) involved in drugs, and that's why people need to hear the message of hope," said Enio Aguero, ethnic and chaplaincy consultant for the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention.
About 10,000 people were expected to attend a concert given by Yuri Saturday night at Franklin Quest Field.