More than 11,000 Baptists of hundreds of different tongues and cultures have converged on Birmingham to take part in an global act of fellowship.
Weeks earlier organisers of the Baptist World Congress, which is taking up every room at the International Convention Centre, were forced to consider whether it should be held in Birmingham as planned, in light of recent terror scares and the London bombings.
But they decided to stand firm in their decision, to send a message of solidarity to Brits and Brummies affected by the scourge of terrorism.
The Baptist World Congress is held every five years and staged by the Baptist World Alliance.
Yesterday members from 107 countries, ranging from Bosnia to Brazil and almost every nation in between, arrived in the city for the celebration.
The alliance has a community of 100 million people scattered across the globe and 211 different member bodies.
The event is a chance for members to come together as a world family and share ideas and experiences, and reinvigorate faith.
The five-day jamboree, covering talks, concerts, discussions bible study and prayers, is a test in large-scale logistics for organisers and the staff of the ICC, as it is joint biggest event the venue has held.
Congress director Emmett Dunn said there had been a desire to stage the event in the UK because the WBA had been born in London in 1905.
"Recent events in London called into question whether we were going to hold it in Birmingham," he said.
"But we all felt it was a good reason to come and identify and show support and solidarity with people here.
"Terror will not stand in our way.
"We must send out a signal of sound resolve to live out our Christian faith in the midst of all the terror that we see. We want to send out a very strong message that we stand in solidarity with the victims and people who have been affected."
The conference aims to raise awareness of world problems.
"We are focusing on issues such as poverty, sex slaves, Aids, youths and violence, war and injustices and human rights.
"This is not about some expert from an air conditioned office coming to lecture on human rights and justice.
"We have members from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Thailand and Eastern Europe who have lived out the experience of injustice and they will be here to tell us about it.
"The aim is to create an awareness that even though we live in the 21st Century, and even though an individual or his or her community is far away from it, injustice is still going on. We aim to encourage and challenge people to use resources available to them and go back and tackle those issues."
Mr Dunn was helping smooth out any snags in the registration process yesterday as guests arrived.
"We like to be hospitable to all people coming from across the world and it has been next to impossible for some of them to let us know they were coming," he said.
"I'll get a call at 2am saying there is a group of 50 waiting at Heathrow wanting bed and breakfast.
"It has created a bit of a challenge but at the end of the day it is a joy to serve our brothers and sisters no matter what time of day it is."