Monday, August 2, 2010

The 20th Baptist World Congress ended on a high note on Sunday, August 1, with a stirring message by Lance Watson, pastor of St. Paul's Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, in the United States. Watson encouraged the 4,000 Baptist delegates to go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to change and transform lives.

The Congress Message was also published which is aimed at calling Baptists to commit to evangelism and social ministry.

On Saturday, July 31, the five-year Living Water emphasis came to an end in a celebration of song, music, drama, testimonies,and an address by BWA General Secretary Neville Callam.

More on the Congress can be followed at

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Several major developments have taken place during the Baptist World Congress.

The new president of the Baptist World Alliance is John Upton of the United States. John is executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. He succeeds David Coffey of the United Kingdom who was elected in Birmingham, England, in 2005.

Twelve vice presidents, two each from Africa, Asia/Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and North America were also installed into office.

Former general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, Denton Lotz, received the Baptist World Alliance Human Rights Award. Lotz, who was gen sec from 1988 to 2007, initiated a number of measures focusing on Freedom and Justice, human rights in particular, during his tenure.

A celebration marking the end of the five-year Living Water program took place during the congress, celebrating the many lives that have been touched and changed. Testimonies were heard from persons from India, Russia, and Uganda on how Living Water made an impact on them and led them into new areas of ministries.

Four press conferences were held during the congress. The first press conference included President David Coffey and General Secretary Neville Callam. Among the major highlights was the revelation that approximately 1,000 persons were denied entry visas by the US to attend the congress.

The last press conference was held immediately after the installation of Upton as president, where Callam introduced him to the media. Both Upton and Callam received questions on their plans for the future.

The two other press conferences were with workers in relief and development and persons who work in specific disaster situations; and with workers in freedom and justice and human rights advocates.

There were programs and events specially geared for women, men, children and youth, as well as major cultural presentations.

Among the major highlights during the week were the main morning and evening worship celebrations with speakers from India, Jamaica, Australia, Canada, Argentina, South Africa and the United States, and President Coffey.

Focus groups, with emphasis on theological, social and ethical issues, as well as small group Bible studies were also important events. the Bible studies were conducted in nine Asian and European languages.

Highlights, photos, Twitter feeds and Facebook updates can all be obtained by visiting the BWA website,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

20th Baptist World Congress begins

It was an evening of great celebration as the 20th Baptist World Congress began in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 28 at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Celebratory praise and music characterized the evening as Hawaiian bands, singers and dancers led the more than 4,000 Baptists from around the world in Spirit-filled worship centered on Christ, drawn on the Hawaiian culture.

Baptist World Alliance President David Coffey elucidated on the congress theme “Hear the Spirit” as he delivered the keynote address. Coffey challenged Baptists from the 105 countries present to lead lives and execute ministries grounded in the work and leading of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Preparations continue

Final preparations are being put in place by BWA staff and volunteers for the start of the Baptist World Congress on Wednesday, July 28.

Several committee meetings were held on Tuesday, July 27, including the BWA Executive Committee. One important announcement coming out of that meeting is that the 21st Baptist World Congress in 2015 will be held in Durban, South Africa.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Baptist World Congress

Follow us as we provide updates on the 20th Baptist World Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, that runs July 28 to August 1.