Washington, DC (BWA)-- Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Secretary Neville Callam met the leadership of the two BWA member bodies in Chile as part of preparation plans for the next BWA Annual Gathering to be held in that country in July 2012.
Among those present at the meeting in Santiago, the Chilean capital, in early October, were Mauricio Reyes, president of the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Chile (UBACH), and Daniel Vivanco, president of the National Baptist Convention of Chile. Both leaders assured Callam that good progress is being made in planning the 2012 Annual Gathering. Jorge Quinteros, vice president of UBACH, is chair of the Local Arrangements Committee.
The presidents, together with representatives from both groups, discussed ways to make good use of the opportunity of hosting the Annual Gathering to benefit the local Baptist community.
South America has hosted three BWA annual meetings, Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1983 and 1995, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2003. Two Baptist World Congresses, which are held every five years and planned by the BWA, were held on the continent, Rio de Janeiro in 1960 and Buenos Aires in 1995.
Baptists in Chile are appreciative of BWA's acceptance of their invitation to hold the next Annual Gathering in their country.
During the recent meetings in Santiago, mention was made of the last BWA Gathering in July 2011, which was memorably hosted by Malaysian Baptists in Kuala Lumpur. The team in Malaysia, which was chaired by BWA Vice President John Kok, ensured all delegates at the meeting experienced that nation's gracious hospitality.
The Chile local team responded positively to Callam's request to help make the 2012 Annual Gathering reflective of local Baptist culture and ethos.
Upon his return to the BWA international offices, Callam said he was impressed by the positive spirit and enthusiasm displayed at the meetings in Santiago. His expectations are high for another memorable experience at a BWA Annual Gathering.