Washington (BWA)--Leaders of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) held a joint meeting on December 19. The meeting was a follow up to a commitment made in April 2004 that both groups "meet at least once per year to continue an ongoing dialogue."
In a decision to honor the commitment made in 2004, the BWA Executive Committee authorized BWA General Secretary Neville Callam to write to the SBC to request a meeting. A favorable response was received and, on December 19, the meeting took place in the offices of the SBC in Nashville, Tennessee.
The meeting was marked by cordiality, frankness and respectfulness. It was agreed that the discussion was necessary not just because of the pledge made in 2004, but also because of the vocation of Christians to live at peace with everyone.
It was noted that despite the SBC's withdrawal of its BWA membership in 2004, a number of members of churches that cooperate with the SBC serve the BWA, including on its General Council and its study commissions.
The leaders made a commitment to keep the communication channels open, and to issue fraternal invitations to each other's meetings.
Representing the BWA were President John Upton; Callam; George Bullard, general secretary of the North American Baptist Fellowship; and Sam Chaise, general secretary of Canadian Baptist Ministries.
SBC representatives were SBC President Bryant Wright; Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee; Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Paige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.