Baptist World Alliance
Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Phone: +1 703 790 8980
Fax: +1 703 893 5160

July 29, 2010
For Immediate Release
New BWA leaders elected
Honolulu (BWA) -- Several persons were elected or confirmed into office before and during the 20th Baptist World Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, from July 28 to August 1. 

Raquel Contreras of Chile was elected president of the BWA Women's Department during the BWA Women's Leadership Conference, held July 24-27. Contreras, who is president of the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Chile, was a BWA vice president from 2005 to 2010 and is former president of the Union of Baptists in Latin America. She succeeds Dorothy Selebano of South Africa who was elected president of the BWA Women's Department in 2005.

Owen Crooks, president of the Jamaica Baptist Union Brotherhood, is the new president of the BWA Men's Department, succeeding Forestall Lawton, president since 2005. Lawton, of Kansas City, Missouri, in the United States, is now the new director of the Men's Department, taking over from Doyle Pennington of Colorado in the US. Pennington is the new secretary.

Everton Jackson, elected by the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship (CBF) as its executive secretary/treasurer during the CBF General Assembly in March, was confirmed by the BWA General Council as BWA regional secretary for the Caribbean. Jackson, the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Montego Bay, Jamaica, is also a former president of the Jamaica Baptist Union. He succeeds Bahamian Peter Pinder who was CBF executive secretary/treasurer and BWA regional secretary since 1995.

The CBF also chose a new president during its March General Assembly. William Thompson, outgoing BWA vice president and former president of the Bahamas National Baptist Missionary and Education Convention, succeeds Burchell Taylor from Jamaica, a newly elected vice president of the BWA.

The incoming BWA General Council met before the start of the congress in Hawaii, while the new Executive Committee will not convene until March 2011. Both governing bodies will include a number of persons who will take their places as new chairs of various committees and other groupings within the BWA, all expected to serve until 2015.