GEvery Sunday, Phaneroo Ministries International, a prominent Ugandan church, attracts thousands of worshippers for its vibrant, spirit-filled services.
On July 30, unlike the previous days of worship, the Christians gathered at the Uganda Manufacturers Association showgrounds came determined to break the Guinness World Record for the longest applause.
Apostle Grace Lubega, the senior pastor at Phaneroo, led the congregants in a challenge dubbed “Clap for Jesus.”
Pastor Rohi Bright, one of the key organizers of the event said, “We shall be celebrating our ninth anniversary in a matter of days, so we felt it prudent to give thanks to God in a special way for the wonderful things He has accomplished in us, through us and for us in the nine years. This world record challenge gives us the perfect opportunity to make history for God.”
The church goers followed strict rules set by the Guiness World Record team by maintaining a continuous applause with a sound level of 80 decibels, which is about as loud as a diesel truck. Making voice noises, using musical instruments and taking bathroom breaks were prohibited.
Participants all clapped at the same time. Once a participant stopped applauding, they were removed from the group by a steward and not allowed to rejoin the challenge. A panel of independent adjudicators carefully monitored the proceedings to ensure that all participants were adhering to these guidelines.
Inside the multipurpose hall, spirits were high as hundreds of registered churchgoers clapped in unison with electrifying energy. As the hours ticked by, they continued clapping in silence with unwavering determination despite their aching hands. Outside the hall, thousands of supporters cheered on the participants by singing and praying.
“I am doing this for the glory of God,” said one of the attendees, Elishifa Kimani, 38. “I want whoever reads the Guiness World Book to see that the longest applause was for Jesus.”
Phaneroo Ministries’ global audience also joined the “Clap for Jesus” livestream on Manifest TV and YouTube, where over 60,000 people tuned in.
After an incredible 3 hours and 16 minutes of continuous applause, the hall erupted with shouts of triumph. Phaneroo Ministries had set a new world record. The previous longest hand-clapping session was two hours and five minutes and was completed by Stevens Clark in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2019.
“We wanted to make sure that it would be so hard for the next person to set the record — that’s why we set it at 3 hours and 16 minutes” explained Lubega. “This has everything to do with John 3:16,” he added, citing the Scripture that states that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
“The Guinness World book of records is a secular platform,” he said. “But it too can be used to preach the gospel.”
In the next 12 weeks, the Guinness World Records will review the event’s documentation and determine whether it will be accepted as the new record or rejected.
“Beyond the celebration and jubilation, this remarkable feat is a powerful symbol of unity and solidarity in a world that often seems fractured,” Lubega said after the event. “Phaneroo’s breaking of the Guinness World Record for the longest applause serves as a reminder that when people come together with a common vision and unwavering commitment, they can achieve the extraordinary. If someone reads through it and finds that the longest applause in the history of mankind is in the name of Jesus, maybe someone will be convicted to find out who or why.”
Deborah Laker is a freelance writer for ReligionUnplugged.com. She graduated with degrees in journalism and political science from Oral Roberts University.
Produced in association with Religion Unplugged