|From the General Secretary |
Hear the Spirit: Proclamation 1
By Neville Callam
"How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15; cf. Isaiah 52:7)
BWA's ministry plan for 2011-2012 focuses on the theme, Hear the Spirit: Proclamation. Proclamation is perceived in different ways. We note four understandings in successive issues of this newsletter starting this month.
Some persons confine proclamation to its oral and verbal dimensions, understood merely as the use of words. Proclamation is principally the preaching of the Gospel, often asserted with reference to the biblical text, "How shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).
The preached word remains an important responsibility for those called to the pastoral ministry. The advice given to Timothy has been commended to many of today's pastors: "Proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2).
The preached word must be accompanied by the shared word, committed participation by each Christian in bearing oral witness to the good news of the kingdom of God, and the written word by those believers gifted to communicate the Gospel through this medium.
The evangelists explain that it is the risen Christ who chose witnesses and sent them into the world to proclaim the Gospel. According to Matthew, those sent are mandated to "make disciples of all nations" (28:19). In Mark, disciples are told to "preach the good news to all creation" (16:15), and in John, Jesus is presented as the model and pattern for the mission of the disciples (20:21). Luke makes it clear the apostles were committed to this ministry: "Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ" (Acts 5:42).
Paul urged, repeatedly, the mandate of Christians to share the good news of Christ. He understood he was under obligation to preach the Gospel (Romans 1:15; 1 Corinthians 1:17 & 9:16). It was "with the power of the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction" that messengers of the Gospel must carry out their work (1 Thess. 1:4-5).
The audible and legible proclamation of "God's word" (1 Thess. 2:13) is incumbent on those who name Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The life of the church rests on, and is nourished by, the proclamation of the Gospel. The proclamation of the good news of the kingdom is critical to the vocation of the church and its members.
To fulfill this ministry of proclamation, we need to hear the Spirit who leads us into knowledge of the truth. The Spirit empowers us to declare the message of the saving love of Christ, emboldens us to speak truth to power, and to say a prophetic word in situations where others see no need for such a word.
Hearing the Spirit, let us proclaim, through the word of preaching and person to person witnessing, the message of the one who is able to transfer us from the kingdom of darkness to the wonderful light of divine grace. Our word becomes a vehicle to communicate the life-transforming message we received and desire for others to know.
|What BWA Member Bodies are Doing|
Baptist Association of Belize
The first Baptist church was planted in Belize in 1822. The Baptist Association of Belize (BAB) comprises more than 50 established church and mission congregations and approximately 2,000 members.
The association's Baptist Education Ministry operates a number of preschool, elementary and high schools, including the Queen Street Baptist School, which has been used by the government as a model school for the training of teachers. The first high school, Belmopan Baptist High School, was started in September 1998.
The Baptist Bible School of Belize began in January 2006 to provide theological education for pastors, pastors in training and other leaders in the churches cooperating with the association. Students who complete the course of study are awarded a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry by the External Studies Program of Cape Town Baptist Seminary in South Africa, part of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa.
Among the purposes and objectives the BAB are the establishment of Baptist churches throughout Belize, the training of believers for Christian service, and the fostering of voluntary interchurch cooperation.
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First Baptist Church at Kingston
First Baptist Church at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, was founded in 1840 with 12 members through the support of the Baptist Colonial Missionary Society of London and with the efforts of John Gilmour, later the founder of Montreal Baptist College.
The church believes "it is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations." As such, "it is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the good news of Christ."
There is a commitment to creation care. "Christians have a spiritual responsibility over the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in our possessions." Therefore, "Christians are called to care for the earth, God's gift in trust to us."
Social responsibility is an important calling because all "men and women are made in the image of God...regardless of race, religion, color, culture, class, sex or age." The congregation has a "concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression."
Describing itself as "a community of diverse people who have found meaning, hope and forgiveness in following the Lord Jesus Christ," First Baptist at Kingston conducts Bible studies in both Spanish and Portuguese to help meet the needs of members and visitors mainly from Latin America. "We have a reputation for being a compassionate and caring church with strong ministries to refugees, families of prisoners and ex-convicts through Project Reconciliation, and the Helen Tufts Nursery School."
The aim, says Kevin Smith, the church's pastoral team leader, is to have a congregation that celebrates the Triune God in worship, cares for each other, cultivates a deep relationship with God, communicates the Good News to others, and collaborates with one another as a team.
First Baptist, a Baptist World Alliance Global Impact Church®, is affiliated with the Central Canada Association of Baptist Churches, the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, and Canadian Baptist Ministries.
|In Memoriam: Beverly Dunston Scott|
Beverly Dunston Scott, a past vice president of the Baptist World Alliance Women's Department, died on July 11, 2011, in Windham, Vermont, in the United States, at 80 years old.
Scott was president of the North American Baptist Women's Union from 1997-2002, president of the Lott Carey's Women's Auxiliary between 2001 and 2004, and a vice president of American Baptist Churches (ABC) USA from 1982-1983.
She held membership on various BWA bodies, including on its General Council, the Commission on Doctrine and Interchurch Cooperation, the Commission on Freedom and Justice, and the Christian Education and Literature Workgroup.
She was part of the team that participated in the BWA dialogues with the Mennonite World Conference from 1989-1992, and was a member of the search committee that resulted in the appointment of the current director of the BWA Women's Department, Patsy Davis.
Scott was a trustee for Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, from where she graduated in 1952.
She earned a master's degree in nursing from Yale University, a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and a doctorate in education from New York University. She served 23 years as a professor of urban planning at Rutgers University and was Professor Emeritus at Rutgers after her retirement.
Her husband, James Scott, former senior pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, was president of the Lott Carey Convention from 1982-1985 and of ABC USA from 1992-1993. He currently sits on the BWA Commission on Ministry, and chaired the BWA Congress Program Committee from 1995-2000, which helped to plan the 2000 Baptist World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. He is a former member of the BWA General Council, the Commission on Baptist Worship, the Commission on Baptist Heritage and Identify, the Human Rights Award Committee, and the World Evangelization Strategy Workgroup.
In addition to her husband, James, she leaves daughters Lindal and Kimberly.
Funeral services were held at Bethany Baptist Church on July 16.
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|In Memoriam: Charles Walker|
Charles Walker, pastor, musician, composer, professor and author, died August 21 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. He was 76 years old.
Walker, a relative of gospel music great Mahalia Jackson, was pastor of Philadelphia's Nineteenth Street Baptist Church for more than 30 years, retiring in October 2010.
He served as recording secretary, chairman and later as executive secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, where he led several food and humanitarian aid missions to Ethiopia and coordinated the construction of schools, libraries and hospitals in various locations in Africa.
He composed Requiem for Brother Martin, a work for chorus and orchestra in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., several other musical compositions, and chronicled the life of gospel songwriter Lucie Campbell in the biography, Miss Lucie.
He is a former member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Baptist Worship and the Baptist World Aid Committee.
Walker is noted for his role in helping to found a black student caucus and for leading an 18-day student protest in 1969 that resulted in the addition of more black faculty members at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in New York state.
Walker graduated from DePaul University with both a bachelor and master's degree in music, continued his studies in piano in Paris, France, and participated in several International piano competitions throughout Europe.
He accepted his call to ministry while teaching at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and left to attend the Colgate-Rochester School of Divinity where he earned his Master of Divinity Degree. He held several honorary doctorate degrees from various educational institutions and was the recipient of a number of awards.
He is survived by wife Barbara and sons, Jason and Pierre.
Funeral services were held August 29 at Triumph Baptist Church in Philadelphia.
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With Trula Duane of the United States, a member of the BWA Promotion and Development Committee, on the passing of her husband, Jerry, on July 31
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|Movements and Changes|
Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, elected general secretary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, succeeding Solomon Ishola, a former BWA vice president.
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To William T. Wolfrey, trustee of the Mary S. Wolfrey Trust, for a generous bequest from her estate. Deepest sympathy to the Wolfrey family, and gratitude for Mary Wolfrey's faithfulness to Christ and to the global Baptist family.
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Baptist World Aid
|BWAid grants for the months of June, July & August 2011|
Grants recorded in United States dollars unless otherwise noted
Education Grant - 1,900.00Sierra Leone
Poverty Reduction - 8,000.00Horn of Africa
Famine Relief - !5,000.00Asia
Asia Pacific Baptist Aid Support -
Earthquake Relief - 25,000.00India
Orphan and School - 1,000.00Andaman Islands
Post-tsunami Relief - 33,250.00Sri Lanka
Post-tsunami Relief - 55,000.00Nepal
Refugee Relief - 1,000.00CaribbeanHaiti
Toilet Construction Project - 41,200.00
School and Orphanage Construction - 169,139.77
Operational & Ancillary Costs - 45,925.00EuropeCroatia
Education Grant - 2,500.00North AmericaUnited States
Mosquito Nets 4,050.00Back to top
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 month of September we will remember the following:
Baptist Church in Bosnia/Herzegovina
Baptist Union of Croatia
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptist Churches in Serbia and Montenegro
Union of Baptist Churches in Serbia
Union of Baptist Churches in Slovenia
September 11-17Baptist Union of Bulgaria
Baptist Union of Hungary
Romanian Baptist Union
Convention of Hungarian Baptist Churches of Romania
September 18 -24
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Belarus
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptist of Moldova
Euro-Asiatic Federation of Christian Baptists Union (Russia)
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of the Russian Federation
All Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christians Baptists
September 25-October 1 Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Armenia
Evangelical Christian Baptist Union of Azerbaijan
Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia
European Baptist Federation Council, Nazareth, Israel, September 21-24,