Baptist World Alliance

TopBWA Connect
July/August 2010
In This Issue
From the General Secretary
What BWA Member Bodies are Doing
Church Spotlight
400 Ingathering
In Memoriam
News from the BWA
Baptist World Aid
Monthly Prayer Guide
Upcoming Events
BWA Calendar
From the General Secretary 

It's almost here!

By Neville Callam  

In 2005, when we gathered in Birmingham, UK, former BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz announced that the 20th Baptist World Congress would take place in Honolulu, Hawai'i. In 2010, 25 years would have passed since the congress took place in North America and everyone seemed to agree that it was time to afford the numerous Baptists associated with the North American Baptist Fellowship the opportunity to open their arms to welcome the worldwide family for another congress.


North America has a proud record of hosting BWA congress. The seven congress held there took place in Philadelphia (1911), in Atlanta (1939), in Cleveland (1950), in Miami Beach (1965), in Los Angeles (1985) and in Toronto twice (1928 and 1980). Many of you will recall memorable moments from these gatherings for which Baptists waited with eager longing and fervent hope. Now, the time is almost here for us to gather again in North America.


This time, the meeting will be a congress with a difference. The reason is that the vast expanse called the United States - one of the North American territories - also includes lovely islands in the Pacific Ocean.


Many images come to mind when we think about Hawai'i. The upcoming congress will take place within an enchanting cultural context where the Aloha spirit beckons and does not disappoint. Outstanding Baptist leader Rick Lazor and a hardworking team of Christians in Hawai'i will combine their gifts with those of a gifted group of persons in the Congress Planning Committee, led by President-elect John Upton, to ensure that we will enjoy an experience of the global Baptist family enriched by the colors, sounds and mood of the local Hawai'ian culture. BWA staff members have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside these volunteers to prepare for Honolulu 2010.


The promotional work is done; the days and nights of planning are drawing to a close, and Baptists around the world are holding hands, metaphorically, in a marvelous circle of prayer to pray for God's purposes to be achieved through Congress 2010 when we seek to "Hear the Spirit!"


For all the hours spent in the planning process, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout that process and the enabling of God as we go forward, the experience of the Congress will be less than it should be. Ours now is the invitation to prayer.


We will continue to pray for Rick Lazor and the Local Arrangements Committee. We must not forget to pray for safe travel to and from Hawai'i for the thousands who will attend the Congress. We must remember to pray for the many presenters who contribute to our spiritual and vocational enrichment, for those who will help manage the events and for all congress participants. Our desire is for good to come from the many opportunities Congress 2010 will offer to the thousands who will be in attendance.


Then, we will give all the glory to God!


Back to top
What BWA Member Bodies are Doing
Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches

The Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC) was formed in 1935 and became fully autonomous in 1969. It is
the oldest Baptist body in the Philippines. More than 25 percent of all Baptists in the Philippines are members of the CPBC.


Its development goes back to the work of Baptist missionaries from Sweden and the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society.


Beginning with the Visayas region, the convention is now represented throughout the country. Since 1979 the CPBC ordains women and almost half of the local churches are led by women.   CPBC now represents 1,000 churches and roughly 300,000 church members.


CPBC emphasizes Christian education and works to help local churches develop a ministry to nurture and empower people and communities.  A department for theological education develops continuing education programs for pastors. The Baptist body has initiated development ministries with indigenous people regarding ecology, adult literacy and supports the work of cooperatives. Its churches have respective extension programs and community outreach including preschool centers, elementary, and secondary schools.


The CPBC also has a department for evangelization and mission for the churches and coordinates actions related to revival work.


In January 2010, the Convention Baptist Ministers Association (CBMA) held its 69th Annual National Assembly attended by more than 700 participants coming from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The CBMA is a national organization of Baptist pastors serving the churches and institutions of the CPBC.


The assembly, in addition to regular meeting activities, served as a reunion of institutions under the CPBC. A forum was held with national and regional government leaders and nongovernment organizations to establish partnerships toward nation building.

Back to top

Church Spotlight
First Baptist Church
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, in the United States, is an historic church with a 120-year history.


Members of First Baptist relate to the world through several long term relationships, including collaboration with congregations in the USA to serve South East Asia.  First Baptist has increased its awareness of the Chin refugees from Myanmar by hosting the Myanmar United Baptist Church.  The congregation also has a home-based fellowship for members of Lai Baptist Church who are Hakha, from Chin state in Myanmar.


The Baptist World Alliance Global Impact Church partners with HisNets to deliver mosquito nets to areas where malaria is prevalent, and works with SAT-7 to provide Christian broadcasts in North Africa and the Middle East.


First Baptist hosts an English-Second-Language school and teaches English to refugees and resident internationals, and has begun a new ministry among Latinos, with a native Argentine leading the effort. A Sudanese Christian Fellowship meets each Sunday at the church as well.


The website includes a statement on the church's relationships to global peoples in Oklahoma City. "If you come from another country, we are here to help you. Whether you are a student, refugee, immigrant, scholar, business person, or have some other title, we are here to welcome all global peoples. We offer you language classes, cultural orientation, Bible studies, and new friends that celebrate who you are. When you are with us, you will be loved, and you will be free to explore all aspects of life and faith, without pressure to change anything."

To Frederick George, former president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and a member of the BWA Commission on Freedom and Justice and the BWAid Committee, on receiving the honorific title of Member of the Order of the British Empire, from Queen Elizabeth II.

400 Ingathering

"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever" (Psalm 106:1 NIV).


What an enriching experience the upcoming Congress is going to be! How does one characterize the important Leadership Conference for Baptist Women worldwide, the gathering of Baptist Men, the events planned for the youth, the many opportunities that have been prepared for the children and the Living Water celebration that awaits us? And are not many other events scheduled to take place at the Congress?


One opportunity that we wholeheartedly anticipate is the 400 Ingathering!


Last year, Baptists around the world marked the 400th anniversary of the birth of the historic Baptist movement. On that occasion, we launched the 400 Fund through which Baptists receive yet another opportunity to register our sincere thanks to God and also make a down payment in the interest of the future ministry of the worldwide Baptist movement.


All those who are coming to the Congress are asked to bring and present a one-time offering to God as a contribution to the Baptist 400 Fund. We encourage everyone to contribute the equivalent of 40, 400, 4,000 or 40,000 units of your local currency as a way of saying, "Thank you Lord for your blessings on the worldwide Baptist Movement." Your gift will also be a sign of your commitment to pray for Baptists worldwide as we go into our fifth century of service and witness.


The 400 Ingathering will be received throughout the congress. As delegates collect their registration materials, they may make their contribution and collect their Legacy Society badge. Throughout the congress, select BWA staff will stand ready to receive your contribution and to ensure that your name is added to the list of contributors to the ingathering. We thank God for yet another opportunity to respond to God's faithfulness and to make a joyful contribution toward the ministry of the BWA.


Already, some of you have sent in your contribution to the Baptist 400 Fund. As we gather for the event, please wear your badge to proudly celebrate your association with a worthy cause. Those who will not be in Hawaii may send in their contribution to the BWA Center in Falls Church. No gift is too small or too large. Embrace the opportunity to identify yourself with this act of thankfulness to God and this pledge of faithfulness in a ministry that has been a source of rich blessings to so many.


Already, outgoing president, David Coffey, incoming president, John Upton, and general secretary, Neville Callam, have made their financial donation to the 400 Fund and, in one accord, we urge you to join us in  presenting a glad thank offering to God.


"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy" (Psalm 126:3 NIV)!


In Memoriam: Davorin Peterlin

Davorin PeterlinDavorin Peterlin, a former vice president of the Baptist Union of Croatia, died suddenly on June 14. He was 51 years old.

Peterlin spent most of his adult life in academia, having been appointed professor and academic dean at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia; professor at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, Czech Republic; director of the Keston Institute in Oxford , England; and a researcher at Oxford University's Regent's Park College, among other positions in other institutions.

At the time of his death, he was professor of Early Christianity and History of Minority Religious Groups, head of the Research Department and academic resources officer at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Osijek. He served the Baptist Union of Croatia as vice president from 1995-1999.

Funeral services were held June 17 at the Zagreb Crematorium, in Croatia, and a memorial service at the Evangelical Theological Faculty on June 24.

News from the BWA
For these stories and more, visit the BWA website at
Baptist World Aid
BWAid grants for the month June..
Grants recorded in United States dollars unless otherwise noted 
Storm Relief - 2,500.00

Sri Lanka
Help Houses - 20,000.00

Nagaland Reconciliation - 1,000.00

Flood Relief - 10,000.00

Hunger Relief - 12,500.00
University women's dorm - 20,000.00
Earthquake Relief  - 52,415.00

Latin America
Earthquake Relief - $25,000.00
Monthly Prayer Guide
Each week, the staff of the Baptist World Alliance prays for conventions and unions throughout the world.
We invite all other Baptist conventions and unions, and individual Baptists everywhere, to join us in these prayers.
For the months of July and August we will remember the following:

July 4-10
Colombian Baptist Denomination
Baptist Convention of Ecuador
National Baptist Convention of Venezuela

July 11- 17
Federation of Baptist Associations of Costa Rica
Baptist Association of El Salvador
Baptist Federation of El Salvador
Baptist Convention of Nicaragua
Baptist Convention of Panama
July 18-24
Baptist Association of Belize
Convention of Baptist Churches in Guatemala
National Convention of Baptist Churches in Honduras
National Baptist Convention of Mexico

July 25-July 31
Antigua Baptist Association
National Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (Bahamas)
Barbados Baptist Convention
Baptist Convention of Western Cuba
Baptist Convention of Eastern Cuba
fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba
Free Baptist Convention of Cuba
Baptist Convention of Guyana
Baptist Convention of Haiti
Baptist Haiti Mission
Jamaica Baptist Union
Baptist Union of Trinidad and Tobago
Bermuda Baptist Fellowship
Dominican Baptist Convention

August 1-7
Canadian Baptist Ministries
Canadian Convention of Southern Baptist Churches
American Baptist Churches in the USA
Baptist General Association of Virginia
Converge Worldwide (Baptist General Conference)
Baptist General Convention of Missouri
Baptist General Convention of Texas
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Czechoslovak Baptist Convention of USA and Canada
Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Missionary Convention, USA
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc,
National Baptist Convention of America
North American Baptist Conference
Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc (USA)
Russian-Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Union,USA
Seventh Day Baptist General Conference USA and Canada
Union of Latvian Baptists in America
General Association of General Baptists (USA)

August 8-14
Baptist Union of Australia
Baptist Union of New Zealand

August 15-21
Fiji Baptist Convention
Baptist Union of Papua New Guinea, Inc

August 22-28
Union of Evangelical Churches and Baptist Church of Estonia
Union of Baptist Churches in Latvia
Baptist Union of Lithuania

Back to top
Upcoming Events
Caribbean Baptist Women's Union Conference, Orlando, Florida, USA, July 17-21

BWA Women's Leadership Conference, Honolulu, Hawai'i, July 24-27

Baptist World Congress, Honolulu, Hawai'i, July 28-August 1

BWA Calendar
BWA Women's Leadership Conference: July 24-27, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

20th Baptist World Congress: July 28-August 1, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Back to top
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List